Ars Poetica: The Fiction of Truth


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)

Cant

 

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“Knowledge of the name gives him who knows it mastery even over the being and will of the god.”

                        –Ernst Cassirer

 

 

The mythos surrounding

Can’t in positivity

Can’t hide the truth

That can’t can

Always be said,

And can occur

Even when said

Can’t can’t.

 

Ultimately changing

A word can’t change

the word. Limits

Exist that can’t be

Broken, even when

We say they can’t.

 

(November 12, 2018)

 

 

 

 

Desire for Desire

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He pointed out the apple.

She naively bit her lip, but

not her tongue, and said

Wouldn’t that be wrong?

 

Who says what’s wrong,

he said, then laughed.

If one is good, and one

bad simply in saying,

 

should the word hold sin,

or the one who speaks

into division? Do words

so stage our reactions,

 

or are our words an apple

offered up in innocence?

 

(October 7, 2018)

eye of the storm

eye-of-the-storm

in this vacuous world the air is pulled

from these lungs like a scream on a string

a whirlygig’s motion without purpose

other than to click and clack in the wind

 

as winter branches break against branches

with a self-flagellating destruction

my words flail against themselves in anger

searching for a simplicity not there

 

I’ve desired to speak since I was a child

but have been hesitant to raise my voice

above the churning storm outside the door

 

the constant turmoil conspires to control

like a hand at my throat each syllable

until all I could say is ground to dust

 

(September 26, 2018)

Our Words

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While the mendacious moan

their pious exclamations

to smother any dissent,

 

a metaphor translates thought,

holds out the broken leaves

as an offering from the gods,

 

an opening to move through

to find a different bend

in the light you’ve come to know.

 

The ground, slightly uneven,

is common enough, a solid

base to build upon.

 

Simple words whispered

into temples and prisons.

 

(August 21, 2018)

Right Here Where We Are

 

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There are too many trees

in this forest for a trail

to easily follow home,

too many slavering wolves

to pay attention to the way.

 

Often, I tell stories without

telling stories as I teach.

Who has the time for hidden

messages? The metaphor’s too often

lost in the ubiquitous as it is .

 

Like now, one should mark this

turn on the path so we might

return again later as different

people who are no longer lost.

 

Of course, that would require

attention to where we are

now— accepting what’s here

as the only place to know,

and the only way we can be.

 

There is no one hiding

behind the trees, no fairies

dancing circles in the dark.

There are only our words

right here where we are.

 

(August 7, 2018)