How could this be? I’ve been blogging for four years. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I began, but somehow have managed to keep at it. I’m grateful for your visits, likes and comments, but most of all, I’m appreciative for the friendships that have grown out of this odd form of communication. Thank you!
The Neurotic Dreams September in April
Already I have become the beginning of a partial ghost, sleeping the summer
sleep in winter, choosing night over breakfast and the ritual of dousing lights.
This much I know: the moon returns each month, and tonight you lie awake
in a bed across the river, in a house with sixteen windows and a cold oven,
where your true name hides under the floorboard behind the pantry door.
Differences season our days — from flowers to snow, root to nectar — take
one and the other lessens in its own sight. One day I’ll overcome this longing
for things and will be complete in what I own, living my life beyond the page,
past the white space and dead letters. When I mention hearts, I mean that
muscle lodged in my chest. Genetics, not romance. Tissue. Arteries, veins.
Dark cars on the street. Cattle grazing in the damp pasture. The liquor store
sign glaring “CLOSED.” Separate yet included, we observed these scenes but
assigned them to the periphery, grounded in our own closed frames. In a
different time I would transcend my nature and strive to withstand yours.
Look. That star, the fog silhouetting the tombstones. A bobbing light.
Love is a gray morning, a steel-toed shoe or coating of black ice; nothing you
do will repeal its treachery. There, on my stone porch, I will inhale the smoke
of a thousand burned photographs. The sun will descend but you won’t share
it, and I’ll no longer hum your tune. When I rise no one sees. Or everyone
stares. Imagine that great cow of a moon lowing through the night.
“The Neurotic Dreams September in April” was published in deLuge in December 2016, and was written during the August 2015 Tupelo Press 30-30 challenge. Many thanks to artist extraordinaire Ron Throop for sponsoring and providing the title.
Self-Portrait with Shadow
Sometimes light reveals our thoughts.
Separate and unequal, we blend.
The predominant sibilant in English,
its pronunciation varies.
Sciaphobia is the fear of shadows. Last
winter the wellhead froze and we
chain-sawed our way to warmth,
synchronized in the fading light.
And which decides the other’s fate?
In the flame I detect new life, a hissing
in the cast iron box. Though ranked only 8th
in frequency of use, more words in English
begin with S, leaving additional questions.
Is hiss the opposite of shh?
The umbra is the darkest part
of the shadow, where light is completely
blocked. Not the serpent, but the bow
and a misperception. Shadows grow
in proportion to the distance
between the object blocking the light
and the projection surface. Resembling
infinity, yet missing the link. Two facets
of one darkness. A faint suggestion. Amphiscians
cast shadows in two directions. Or not at all.
This appeared on the blog in April 2015, and another version appeared in Otoliths in fall of 2013, but it appears that I’m not quite done with it. I’d been exploring our alphabet, tracing letters’ origins from hieroglyphs to present form, and attempting to merge some of those findings with disparate details. One of these days I’ll get back to it…
A Q&A and more successful examples of what I was trying to achieve can be found at Prime Number Magazine:
To That Dismal Train Somewhere Near Banff
Forgotten, you settle into the earth,
naming stones for each destination missed –
Kamloops, Jasper, Lake Louise – which is worth
each open-mouthed coin laid on the rail, kissed
and reformed into altered currency
no longer capable of carrying
debt or a tourist’s sense of urgency,
only dying days and the wearying
plight of the unmoved. If vines caress your
body, who’s to blame for accepting their
advances? When green subsumes rust, deplore
that too, but enjoy the moments you share,
leaf on metal and glass, the raspy light
tonguing your throat through those long, whistling nights.
Thomas Davis writes on the utility of poetry, using the recently published Indra’s Net as a launching point.
an essay by Thomas Davis written after reading the poetry anthology, Indra’s Net
When I was a teenager, determined to become a poet and writer, Look Magazine, one of the United States’ most popular publications at the time, wrote an editorial that denigrated the utility of poetry. A lot of decades have passed since I read the editorial, but its assertion that poetry had no real use in a world filled with the marvels of science and technology still stirs me to a passion. As I thought back then, what an exercise in the hubris of trying to stir up controversy.
Look Magazine, of course, has been defunct for some time, and while I was in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin at the Breadloaf Bookstore doing a book signing, Indra’s Net, published by Bennison Books (who also published my epic poem, The Weirding Storm, A Dragon Epic) came…
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This is kind of cool, I think: my words appear on this WordPress landing site.
Scroll down about halfway to “Voices from our community.”
Nothing earth-shattering, and just an excerpt from a blurb that will appear in a week or two, but perhaps it will find a few poetry lovers…