Even in the Dark

Each moment’s an agony:
Vague, indecisive, filled,
Like cotton in a wound
With self-abnegation.
My thoughts fester, without
Care, without direction—
A viscous ooze tucked
Within damp crevices.
This is not self-pity,
Nor bragging as complaint—
I live in the landscapes
Which surround me today.
Where I’ve come to stand

Is where I must begin.

(October 4, 2017)

until a fine paste

time and lost desire grind
with relentless imprecision
as the night’s flailings
attempt to toss off the day
muscles along my shoulder
blade cleave my neck
like a well-honed knife
through a lump of raw meat
hard and tight they bend me
like a crumpled can until
so misshapen and abused
I forget who I used to be
the pestle pounds a paste
in the mortar’s shallow bowl

(September 29, 2017)

stage directions for a deleted scene

(left alone. off-center.
pacing to and fro.
the audience sits mute—
as if they are not there.
he speaks his parts
in whispers and shouts.
he suspects, gradually,
no one has heard)
Explanations aren’t enough.
(he explains beneath his breath)
What was that sound? (he barks.
a murder in the wings.
near the stage edge,
yet not at the edge,
he peers into the dark,
a sailor lost at sea).

(October 17, 2016)

exegesis on the way home

“on the edge of the sand they danced by the light of the moon”
            the owl and the pussycat
an old story allows
for improvisation
key moments open doors
to thought of course
must not be omitted           
they provide anchors
to hold a mountain’s face
as wind buffets throughout
our tangled vision’s hair
between those moments
of unremarked repose
unfold the thousand days
within a thousand moments
where one must attend
within a softer light
to follow each shuffled step
to move along again without
a singular momentous fall
a dancer’s grace’s required
to negotiate a toe turn
with smoke’s dexterity
to leap each rubbled crevasse
and land in a hard lurch
with enough of a balance
to stumble down our path
with but a hint of surety
flowing at our unstable feet

(March 25, 2016)