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how history begins (136)

maps do not speak 

as vaguely blurred 

vowels along riverbanks 

where second cousins 

two counties removed 

slur to their mates 

nor sift for finer 

details in pap’s 

bourbon tongue 

(April 26, 2021) 

The Taming Power of the Small

from “Change,” a work in progress

Our government horrifies me,

and I feel powerless–

Each day I read and talk

with my students;

they exude such optimism

and hope, I’m humbled.

A slight breeze stirs

the oak leaves;

dawn breaks slowly

over all.

(January 25, 2019)

Parasite

I project myself onto a new world

Which is not mine, but simply becomes mine.

These become moments when something happens

And nothing happens. I exist tangled

In marginalia, a handwriting

Stitched upon the edges. Another book

Becomes a palimpsest to my tired thought,

A filter to strain away the slither.

Roman priests examined the intestines

Of animals slaughtered for sacrifice.

To devine auguries in the moment,

When something happened, and nothing happened,

They would take the eviscerated signs-

The clots of blood, the bits of flesh, as truth.

(November 30, 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)