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Weeks Before Winter Solstice

W

                                      “and I am

out with hanterns, looking for myself”

                        –Emily Dickinson

Despite the lights in the house,

The darkness penetrates.

It assumes positions in corners,

Presumptuous in its domain.

Like lions pace a cage’s confines,

I am lost in loops of thought

Looking for a set of keys

Which will let me inside.

Yet, there is no rest within

Nor without which can comfort

Enough to bring a closure;

Locked in my obsessions,

I worry each item in turn,

Tangled like tumblers at a fair.

(November 26, 2018)

Too Many Conversations to Slough Off

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After the teacher conference

spent listening to others

speak of techniques

to hold their students

locked around an idea

of reading and writing

with little actual reading

or writing of consequence,

 

I am reminded of a Greek

statue of a wrestler,

who stands silent

scraping sweat and

filth from his arm,

his day done.

 

(November 11, 2018)

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)

One Vision

          “Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak’

–William Shakespeare
I must confess my difference,
since silent acquiescence
and remorse is not enough.
I must accept my submission
and perform the right ritual
at each prescribed station.
I must explain each misstep
along the way to arrive
at the heart of my wrongs.
I must take these knives and
with a calligraphic slash
inscribe my myopic heart.
The sentence is written for me,
and nothing will change.

(February 10, 2017)