Sunday, March 21, 2021


Stop and Start

I want to write a thousand poems and then stop.

Put them all in a plastic baggy with a match

And go for a walk,

Not just around the block

But as far as I can until the road 

Ends in a fork and stop.

Hitch a ride in a rusted pickup truck,

Hop in back, rattle the bones

All night long under the stars

Until the silver light of the moon

Makes the stains on the metal bed

Look like blood and stop.

Jump out when the truck slows

And roll down a hill 

Around and around

To the bank of a river and stop.

Dive in and swim for a while

And then float like flotsam

Until I’m fighting to breathe

And flailing for the opposite shore

And drag myself to land again and stop.

Shed frigid drenched shirt,

Curl up and shiver until I remember 

The bundle of poems I never lost.

Light them on fire

One by one until there’s only one left

And then stop.

Warm my hands over the flames,

Add some sticks and brush

Until there’s a blazing light

So I can start again,

So I can write again,

Smudging charcoaled words

On this palimpsest last sliver

In front of a fire 

That never goes out

And I wont ever stop.


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