Featured

Ars Poetica: The Fiction of Truth


Since I do understand the importance

Of narrative, I tell stories without

Telling stories, like now, as I write this

Poem. I’ve created a fiction of me,

Truthfully, yet still a grounded fiction,

Who is speaking to you, someone absent,

As if we were strangers ordered to share

A rough table in a pub. But instead 

of talking about the local football 

team, or rudely about the government,

I talk to you as if you are in love,

Listening, as I speak, rather than write,

These simplistic thoughts upon this blank page,

And pretend you did not leave years ago.

(January 11, 2019)

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)

afterwards

images

 

She picked up his bones

scattered in the yard,

and took them into the house.

 

Her workshop was cluttered;

so she cleaned off a spot, and

orderly stacked them up.

 

Days went by, then weeks,

and finally years. The bones

collected dust like mementos.

 

One day, stumped, she looked

up from her work, and saw

the neatly stacked dry bones.

 

She laughed as she remembered

him, then went to work:

drilling, weaving, balancing.

 

She sang as she worked, happy

at last to be creating so freely

from his humble remains.

 

Finished, she took what she had

made from him, and hung

it from an old oak tree.

 

It danced a hollow dance,

clattering as the bones clacked

together with every wind.

 

In the evenings she would sit,

and sip a glass of wine, happier

than she had ever been with him.

 

(August 7, 2018)

No One Watches the Train Fall from the Broken Bridge

 

tumblr_osz2mcEJgG1skn9i9o1_500

 

His problem has nothing to do with the train which travels steadily through the night. Everyone is content, if not happy, on the train, reading opinions they already agree with, drinking champagne, eating delicacies imported from foreign countries. They pretend they do not like the food, but wish they could eat as well at home.  All of the people on the train are facing the same direction, which gives them all a strange comfort.  A few of them look out the windows, but it is too dark to see the trees in the forest. It all follows along so logically, like a math problem in high school where rats scuttle east over well-polished wing-tips at a variable rate of three feet per second. They stop randomly to nibble on discarded bread crumbs dropped with nonchalance by the passengers on the train. Meanwhile the train travels south at a consistent seventy-three miles per hour directly toward the crumbled bridge which once traversed a chasm one thousand feet deep and a mile wide. There is no question at the end that one must answer. However, there is an answer; there is always an answer. No one watches the train fall from the broken bridge. No one hears the explosions as it crashes into the rocks below, or the last cries for help of those who are momentarily still alive.  On a trail nearby the train tracks, a monk moves through the dark as if he has been here before, thinking vaguely of other things. He pauses, peers into the dark, then wanders off along his way. The monk’s tangentially wandering mind is not enough to mark the train’s passing beyond the silence which lingers in the mountains for several hours after the sun has risen again.

 

(July 6, 2018)

A Confession Must be Heard

 0c7f3209a8ff06ca85dd4c351e9a91acc6d09f59

Much of what I write these days

sounds like a rote confession;

yet, I am no savior, even to myself.

So to hear the nuance thicken

around a verb in my own ear,

I must speak a native tongue;

and like all true stories I tell,

I shape myself to a form

which best suits my desires.

I collect what is at hand,

charting all my little failures

as profound, as if the paucity

of my life could ever be enough

to transcend these humble clichés.

 

(May 31, 2108)