Good Fences

Spotlights illuminate empty stage with dark background. 3d rendering

 

There is nothing here, she says

holding out her heart.

 

He demurs in silence and

refuses to speak his part.

 

No matter, she improvises,

each stone’s cut smooth…

 

…and takes its place, he smiles,

like fate into its groove.

 

There are no walls, she says,

when nothing’s to divide.

 

The walls are real, he says,

everyone has something to hide.

 

Again, she offers her heart;

and, he has forgotten his part

 

(October 21, 2018)

Obsessive Voice

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He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.

 

He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.

 

He tells himself:

Don’t pick it up;

 

He picks up the rock,

He puts it down.

 

He tells himself

He is stupid—

 

He tells himself

Not to say such things.

 

He tells himself

He is stupid

 

For saying such things,

Then says them again.

 

He tells himself

Don’t pick it up.

 

He picks up the rock,

And puts it down.

 

(October 15, 2018)

 

 

 

 

Snapshot

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As laconic waves lap the shore,

Children’s laughter catches the breeze;

And seagulls’ cries pierce the sky.

 

In the moment before it happens,

No one notices the clouds overhead

Casting shadows on the ground.

 

Recently, I saw an old photograph—

A typical summer beach scene:

Two young blonde women lean over

 

A railing in modest bathing suits.

They look out over the crowded beach

Toward the soft clouds on the horizon.

 

Everyone seems happy. Everyone

Exists in the moment, oblivious

To the candid moment they are in.

 

The caption reads: Germany, 1936.

It could have been any day;

It could have been today.

 

 

*(historical note: Dachau opened in March, 1933)

 

 

(October 15, 2018)

Gretel Lost in the World

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no dragons burn and pillage

even when lost in metaphorical

forests. the children’s screams

in the candy houses next door

are real enough not to be just

symbols in a jungian melodrama

analyzed casually over a cup of tea.

there are no stories to hide within.

the steel-eyed king and queen

handing down impartial justice

never existed anymore than the gods

who were used to justify raw power.

Whereas the black-helmed men

with polished shields and truncheons

still freely move down city streets

searching for someone else to kill.

(October 12, 2018)

Beg Prudence

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“go in fear of abstractions”

                        –Ezra Pound

 

In evening’s corners,

As Dark stalks the streets,

Times’s serrated silences

Gnaw even king’s bones,

Content in the certitude

Another mundane day has,

Once again, passed unmolested

Into Memory’s vague grasp.

 

No need to fear, abstractions

Are ubiquitous as starlings

Murmuring along the eastern hills.

They pulse and turn back on us

Like cold-clotted blood,

Until we can no longer breathe.

 

(October 11,2018)