Thursday, August 24, 2023


 Poem #48

I want to write a poem

As simple as a series of instructions

When you get to the end, presto—

A stylish new bookcase

That never wobbles

Or a complicated electric toy

That actually whirrs to life 

But there're no books for the empty shelves

And no kids are interested in your cheap plastic gift 

Well then, a poem at least ought to be instructive

A series of steps taking you

From point A to point B

Get to the last stanza

And you’re nearly in Paris.

Halfway to self-immolation

For this to be true you have to know 

Where you’re starting from 

And point A often remains elusive

Which is the crux of the problem

For beginners like me.

Like, where am I right now?

Point B never bothered me as much.

Once you’ve got A, the good poem 

Can take it from there 

Another way of thinking about it 

Is that there is no Point A or Point B

The poem is the between that remains:

Solitary flickering spark

Hovering in the space 

That follows yawning original silence,

Serving as prologue to all the unasked questions

It will never get a chance to answer 

The winter exhalations

Of someone you love standing 

Too far away to tell if she’s

Speaking or just breathing 

The faceless watch that only ticks

Leaving the mystery of the time solely in your hands

So it’s up to you not to be late

A house that’s nothing but hallways

That never spill into any rooms 

The love that lingers

When the room is empty

The room you retreat to

When all the other rooms are full

The notes of a song

That isn’t meant to be sung 

An accurate map of the realm 

Of a Fisher King who will never heal

Mystical incantations

Whispered into the mist 

That take you from wherever you are

To the place you were meant to go 

From whatever this is now

To however it’s supposed to feel


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