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A Present Absence


As if braille,

I cannot be traced

Without a quick

Flutter of fingers

Across the page.

Even as I hide

Within words,

My handwriting,

Like kudzu, disguises

My intent.

I don metaphor

And stand still

To cloak certainty

In comfortable 

Deniability.

My whispers are

My camouflage—

Hints and misdirection

Like bells nearby 

In the dark.

(December 3, 2018)

Featured

How Poetry Works

An image like a flower,

something simple, a cliche

even, to distract away

from the slight of hand performed

beneath the mark’s open gaze.

Like now, for instance, you turn

your attention from the poem,

secure in your own slow thoughts;

what you trust to know trembles

as if a leaf in autumn.

Here exists my truth and yours.

I can explain myself true,

in a way that you cannot.

Thus, seeds grow into flowers.

(November 25, 2018)

Archeology of the Present

abandoned-church-with-bones-displayed-from-crypt-below--70650

like so many broken bones

scattered on a shaman’s floor

wait to be puzzled back

into our imaginations

these are the answers

I do not know as these

are the questions I am

too frightened to ask

 

the fragments are small and soft

the edges vague indeterminate

how they are to be returned

whole waits troubled for night

as each day’s tenuous relation

struggles to piece the past entire

(November 21, 2018)

eye of the storm

eye-of-the-storm

in this vacuous world the air is pulled

from these lungs like a scream on a string

a whirlygig’s motion without purpose

other than to click and clack in the wind

 

as winter branches break against branches

with a self-flagellating destruction

my words flail against themselves in anger

searching for a simplicity not there

 

I’ve desired to speak since I was a child

but have been hesitant to raise my voice

above the churning storm outside the door

 

the constant turmoil conspires to control

like a hand at my throat each syllable

until all I could say is ground to dust

 

(September 26, 2018)

sculpture

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“chiseller of inaccuracies”

–Fernando Pessoa

 

I would not speak

if I knew what to say.

There would be no need

to form words around

an unrealized dream.

It is the unsaid

which must be given

shape; which calls us

from its shapeless dark

to speak into existence

what we cannot know.

Yet, I know so little

about so much, I must

speak about it all.

I start where I am

which is always here.

First, I must listen,

discern the shapes

before I can speak.

My words carve out

what is there

from what is not

as the silence unfolds

a new kind of truth.

 

(August 23, 2018)

Mimesis

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“I’ll be your mirror”

–Lou Reed

 

I try to write as I am. Of course,

I could be lying—but that’s the trick,

Isn’t it? To write through the skin

until the pen’s nib scratches dry bone,

until the face I present implodes

into the silence from which it rose.

Even when lies are unintended,

one only knows what one only knows:

the mirror lies as often as not.

 

(July 27, 2018)