Obsessive Voice

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He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.

 

He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.

 

He tells himself:

Don’t pick it up;

 

He picks up the rock,

He puts it down.

 

He tells himself

He is stupid—

 

He tells himself

Not to say such things.

 

He tells himself

He is stupid

 

For saying such things,

Then says them again.

 

He tells himself

Don’t pick it up.

 

He picks up the rock,

And puts it down.

 

(October 15, 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)

Quiet Desperation

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I’ve never been free:

approbation and fear

a constant tap-tap

at my shoulder,

as a reminder— “No,

do not go there.

Stay inside this truth.

It’s comfortable here.”

 

Justly, it is never

too warm to sweat,

nor cold enough to shiver.

There are no bears here,

lost in their quandaries

as to my medial decisions.

 

(September 3, 2018)

 

Where One Learns as What One Learns

Unknown

 

My old tai chi master

watched his students

study their college texts,

then laughed explosively

into the silence

of the courtyard,

our open air dojo.

We all looked up

like gazelle’s scenting

the air. He laughed

again, then said,

“There should be a book

on how to watch clouds.”

We looked at him quizzically.

“All it would say

on every page—

Look Up!”

 

(August 28, 2018)