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A Dagger Which I See Before

from “Renditions of Change” a work in progress

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Tentatively, I stumble down

the hall in the dark. This time,

this is not a dream. I tell

myself I will kill myself

tomorrow. I laugh, as if

I was joking. Then I hear

a draft of a first line,

and hope I can hold it long

enough to write it down

before I drown in a river

of my own clotted blood.

(February 9, 2019)

Snapshot

source

 

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)