Amid twilight’s slow dance,
along a moment’s periphery,
always some other lurks close,
whispering him toward the rocks:
“Don’t stop. Over here, no here.
Somewhere other than where
you are, someone other
than the person you are.”
As the voices rattle like bones
in a box longing to be heard,
he barely notes the susurrations,
never knowing where he goes.
Thus, the lackadaisical waves
slip him limply past the shore.
(January 16, 2019)
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)
“Desire is a moment with no way out”
I parse each moment’s possibility
Pretending the past can be reconciled
With present desires. Memory wears me
Like a palm stone smoothed from idle handling,
Until no difference exists between
Me and what I have perceived to be me.
The unstable threads interlace with all
The lies, the truth, the last dry sip of gin.
The metaphor for myself unravels:
The little that was left unsaid is said,
And the air sparkles with embarrassment.
I have built constructs out of Tinker Toys,
Vast whirligigs of simplistic ideas
To clack and flail in an ignorant wind.
(December 6, 2018)
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)
“and I am
out with hanterns, looking for myself”
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)
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)