What Lingers: A Poem

What Lingers: A Poem

I’ve lived so long among ghosts, / the puffed up shells, / watery husks / shimmering transparent skins / that shiver in the wind. / Like so much sea foam, / they shrink away / from the outstretched hand, / fall back into their emptiness.

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Recovery: A Poem

Recovery: A Poem

The flattery bears
down on us, leveled like a weapon
in the shaking hands of frightened and starving
corporate titans groveling like great beasts before us, desperate
and drooling, to convince us that their teeth are brittle and useless and anyway not
smiling makes them cool, and meanwhile, we scrape along the earth as things keep getting worse…

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How to Become a Poet

How to Become a Poet

When I was a sophomore in high school, I applied for a really exclusive summer school for aspiring student artists. I had been fancying myself a writer since first grade, and more specifically a poet since fourth or fifth. I was anxious but confident. I made it past the first round of interviews…. but I didn’t get in.

Today I stumbled across two pieces of internet flotsam that reminded me of that teenage, poetry-ridden self of mine. The second was an article by Jim Moore, who recently saw his seventh book of poetry into print. Moore writes:

“People sometimes ask, especially parents of aspiring writers, ‘What does it take to become a poet?’ From my own experience I would say four things matter most. Everything else takes care of itself. …”

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The Elements

The Elements

Prayer to the Three

Wind, water, stone.
Breath, blood, bone.

I dwell in Nwyfre, energy, force,
I honor Nwyfre, spark and source.
Candle flame and incense rise,
Enlightened mind and brightened eyes.

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body politic | A Sonnet

body politic

noun : (1) human organ of many heads ;
tongues swarming from them [ as in, unison
of insects
] ; hands, tangled beds of nails on
which to rest evenly so as to spread
weight, pressure without injury : (2) threat
posed by ground swellings ; manifestation
of projected intent to harm [ as in,
the body of our enemy is dead,
but not his intention
] : (3) the myth of
history (archaic) [ ‘twas his own love
that killed this shepherd, not our need to kill,
and we remain innocent
] ; public will ;
institutionally anointed gore
to ensure death passes over our door

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After Beauty

After Beauty

Strange, that all of a sudden I remember the poem — the smell of the book it was in, like a palmed cigarette stub sweaty and stale with old smoke, and how worn it was, and loose in its faded jacket — and I don’t recall the poem itself.

Just that it was about a girl — I imagine her with oily hair in waves rich with grief that you could dip your fingers in — and perhaps a convenience store, closed for the night with security fluorescents churning in their cluttered hollows, or a living room in an old apartment with the shades drawn, or at least some other dark, crowded place where the noise and hands are hard and constant, tearing the throat out of dirty evening sunlight.

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