Those Who Watch the Fall

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A thick malaise slurs

the day with inarticulate

desires. There is nothing

but dissatisfaction beneath

each prime move. He slips

about the house finding solace

in unread books, in thoughts

of what he might have done.

 

The pointed questions come:

Why he dawdles over trivialities?

Why he quakes a pauper to his ideals?

Will the last glass of wine be his cause?

Will the safety of his status quo

be the death and guilt of all?

 

(June 18, 2018)

Zeitgeist Frog

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A deep resonance in waves

flows through my walls

as if they did not exist;

and, I am set atremble

like the wings of a butterfly

on a bit of Queen Anne’s Lace.

 

Thus fear inculcates the normal

day to day rituals, casually,

like friends meeting for lunch.

I cannot control my shaking.

I have become thin glass

singing in harmony

with the tremulous cacophony;

until I shatter like ice.

 

(April 29 2018)

Transient Stability

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Some nights—too often now—I wake

Shouting, flailing from worry

Of someone lurking behind a fence—

Someone who claims to be no one

Who, when I wake to darkness again,

Is correct, if not mistaken—

I cannot find solace in sleep.

 

On the margins of the night, she sits

And knits in a rocking chair singing,

Weaving stories into the air. She’s not

Singing for me. Yet, I cannot speak

In dreams anymore. Night bruises

The day until my skin is broken

And blood spills as if in sacrifice.

 

(December 31, 2017)

Self-flagellation

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The familiar voice, a constant whip, rips

Bits of metaphorical flesh to fleck

The truculent air like a moist firework.

If one listens— the recriminations

Claw, maul, snag and cut to reshape the past;

The pressure provides us old forms to drape

Like silk shrouds upon the dead and dying.

 

I hear the fears of my world, the cold doubt

Niggling each broken phrase, like a dry catch

At the back of the throat. I do not know

What to believe, or which patch can still fix

The tattered fabrications, or which will

Transform into the next tale to be told

Before the voice begins to speak again.

 

(December 29, 2017)

Drawl

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A time to speak up

 

Think of it

Not

As punctuation,

But rather

Dialect, decorated

By accented diacritical marks.

 

If I speak in such

A manner that’s averse

To the way your words wander,

Perhaps you should listen

To how variations

Play across our story:

 

Resistance exists

Along the blade

Of consonant’s hiss and click.

As the oldest god

Has whispered before:

The word changes the world.

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(December 20, 2017)

Whisper into the Gale

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“I do not hear the scream, […] I am the scream. “ 
—  Edmond Jabès, From the Book to the Book

 

If I scream,

No one can hear

Over the clamor.

 

So, I whisper here

To pierce the fray,

Which fades to fire—

 

A burning to sear

The air free

For us to breathe.

 

Our throats gasp

The flames like water

Without redemption,

 

Except as syllables

To parse truth from lies.

 

(November 26, 2017)

 

 

 

until a fine paste

time and lost desire grind
with relentless imprecision
as the night’s flailings
attempt to toss off the day
muscles along my shoulder
blade cleave my neck
like a well-honed knife
through a lump of raw meat
hard and tight they bend me
like a crumpled can until
so misshapen and abused
I forget who I used to be
the pestle pounds a paste
in the mortar’s shallow bowl

(September 29, 2017)