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Pompeii

Always nearby, Fear hangs back

floating like the hint of smoke

on the horizon. The city lies

in that direction. Home lies

in that direction. We are not

going back again. Still, it comes.

Its tongue insinuates the air; soft

words clot our ears with ice.

This is the time which we live in:

slow lumbering ideas, empty and angry,

tumble through the streets like rocks

tossed by giants from mountain tops.

No one notices the viscous fire

burning the flesh from our bones.

(September 4, 2019)

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We are the Light

“It’s up to poets to revive the gods.”

                        —-Jim Harrison

There are no more gods

to conjure our hope

against this darkness,

no soft rituals

filled with smoke and fire

to sate writhing snakes.

We must shape the dark

to find ourselves

a space to live,

protected from rain

and heat, a space

to sleep and be reborn.

We alone must be

the wood and spark.

(August 29,2019)

Lost Books

Several weeks ago something made me think about rereading Tristan Tzara’s “Approximate Man.” I searched every bookcase in the house multiple times( yes, I am obsessive). I couldn’t find it. I knew I had not loaned it out… I mean who do I know that would want to read it? Then yesterday, from across the room, I spotted it on the shelf in plain sight. I figure a ghost, or old age.

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As He Peered over his Glasses

She spoke without preface,

as if sh knew him:

each sentence a non-sequitar

even to itself; no beginning

no end, no predicate

to bend into an open heart.

Askew to his position,

she formed a fulcrum

with no place to stand

like surf far out to sea

crashing against itself.

Until in a froth of inaction,

he drowned, swallowing his words,

as if they mattered.

(August 21, 2019)