What the spotlight hides (30 July)

You may take a turn at all the parts,
suit up for all the unauditioned roles
in this single-hander with you as
acrobat, juggler, clown, fool

but first of all
master the trapeze.

Your greatest foe:
who knew?

This angry gray wire threatens
always slipping,
each from the other,
your legs slipping as they
strain and flounder in this
tug-of-war with fifty falling eyes
you rather would see
baying, booing, saying
anything

than this indifference,
inclined to wander and drift
just as this thin line leaves you

dangling

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We hear (27 July)

tangled plaques these twisted words,
rebelling at their limits like some
helium-filled story longing to be
unwound, untold, exasperated in a
single rush of exhaustion.

cannot find the beat where truth
first glanced fiction, abandoned the map.
cannot scratch off the coating that
formed when in that pulsing instant
memory was a second thought.

embraced in these miseries,
until they are no longer ours,
until by sharing pain we mute
throbbing secrets into
cracks in solitude’s lonely walls.

suddenly they are only quoted moments
because telling a story
makes it your story
untangled with that first breath:
“this is what happened.”

Unstill Life – Rewrite (22 July)

Where do they keep letters lost,
words and thoughts so quickly
abandoned to unseen mists?

I peer out at the horizon
as stars rise and fall,
forever seeking
through all the yesternights and days,
ten thousand faded Polaroids
that glimmer and fade at once.

And in this ebbing darkness
the mind shows its cracks and tribunes
as life leeches out, through
this labyrinth of history.

Try to keep it steady but one river
leads on or cuts through the next
like a tidal wave of unstill life
your mind will never tame.

A Passing Shower (June/July)

Vacant streets
cut grass
empty mornings
we fret.

Watches spin
time runs
hours flee
we stress.

Right shoes but
wrong socks
forgotten phone
we groan.

Somewhere mayhem bombs
and people flee their
panicked lives while
we bemoan

in column inches with
sordid pity, chattered fragments,
sixty-second updates
we sigh.

Interrupt our misery with
gossiped snapshots of
death and despair
we hear, we want to

in regular intervals
of foreign nowheres
made whole by estimates that
we can pity.

Two seconds, or three (17 July)

Uprooted memory, a transplanted cut-out:
these few trees, this sudden light.
All that’s missing is the haze
and the fog of unfamiliarity.

And as time splits I could be there
seeing that unbroken tree-line
where Northern hemisphere blue is
cloaked in unbelievable flatness.

Were I not aboard this silent carriage
both then and now
we could be in Yesterday
awoken from ancient slumber.

In this double mirror is the untangling
of a million inhaled moments, scents
flasked in opaque, corked containers
whose uncapping sloshes forth some

old cologne, musky breath, undated,
knowing you are their brewer,
you stirred the pot and distilled their
forgotten essence.

So branching off on routes unseen
this single patch of brown recalls
half-surrendered hours and these
two seconds, or three, seem limitless.