Tag Archives: metaphor

Memories Forgot

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Piled under blankets,
pigment greased thick
under fingernails – scrubbed once
or twice – her breath falls soft.

Fast as Nike, she slept.
Night crept darker still;
under what pretense
would light appear but dawn?

An hour forgotten, a day forgotten.
The memories fade and no witness
to bear this breath in or out.
Snow drifts. One hurricane
follows another, falls dark.

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Quiet

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the un-decibel.
so silent it hums.
what isn’t.
right before the storm.
that falling, grasping, shhh.
when the mind has slowed.
the breath has caught.
a glacier melting not groaning yet.
not fracturing or breaking.
or crashing.
not sighing or even exhaling.
yet.
what lands between two beats.
goes undetected.
disappears when the foot falls.

Yesterday’s Rain

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Tapping cold rain falls
light on the tin roof
tapping and scattering.

Glass beads in a glass bowl.

Fat drops hurl through
sink heavily into
earth
children hurl bodies into
sink heavily through
living

Rain stings
ricochets sharp enough
to remind of scarring
maybe on another day.

Yesterday, I thought of rain.

Disappear

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Disappear
into the cave.

Go
beyond where you imagined stopping
grab the wisp of wind ahead, drawn through the air
as if someone has illustrated
this life

hold tight to the windy wisp
and stand tall
or know it will drag you

drink in the mystic chant
in the distance
see the glow of a fire
on the horizon

smell smoke

and run through it
after it
into it

somewhere the burning will be hottest
and later it will cool
the steam will rise from the coals

gather the flickering steam in your hands
likely drawn with chalk
hide it away
remember

A satisfying end.

Muse Memory Writing Prayer

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Memories are dim –
white clouds on the outside.
I’m waiting for dark,
for gray or black or that sheet of sky where stars wink through holes
in cut fabric.

The Sullen One, the Dreamer, the Spectacle, the Net-Caster –
Oh, Weaver
I am alone in myself without drift or muse
Words on the horizon.

Is there a miracle invocation to be made?
Inspiration could be
a ghost from my past, or a spirit to prompt dreams
of lampposts in winter,
of burning oils and incense and
a poem without rhythm or reason
or rhyme
that flows like the ocean and whispers like the salt.
Simple rhythm.
A misguided drum.

And so, into the abyss, slowly,
I go descending

With my dreams scattered among nightmares,
the cutting edge of joy on my wrist;
hungry for life and death and the deepness of feeling.

So we are the painters, the artists, the diplomatic chief designers for our own lives, deaths and in betweens.

Snow falls and everything is soft and clean again.

Drafting Pantoum

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Writing is a marathon.
Finish a draft, write ten more
but not right away – you have to write poetry, too, an essay, an email or a thank you note
because otherwise the writing hat fits too tight; the hatband gives you a headache. So

finish a draft. Write ten more
ideas for character development and narrative arc, but keep yourself guessing
because otherwise the writing hat fits too tight. So the hatband gives you a headache?
You begin to wonder whether you were ever meant to wear hats.

Ideas for character development and narrative arc keep you guessing, but
you know what you know what you know, which is hardly anything and
you begin to wonder whether you were ever meant to wear this hat,
which requires a combination of mindful surrender, wild imagination and determination even when

you know what you know what you know. It is hardly anything. And
now it might occur to you that you hardly need to know anything.
Which requires a combination of mindful surrender, wild imagination and determination even when
it means the stairs are left unvacuumed, the tub scummy and the shelves undusted.

Now it might occur to you that you hardly need to know anything
right away. You have to write poetry, too, an essay, an email or a thank you note.
It means the stairs are left unvacuumed, the tub scummy and the shelves undusted.
Writing is a marathon.

To Drown a Tree and Climb

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The tree is older than you are;

I read it like a death sentence.
The tree knows,
sees me for me
sees my thoughts
The tree knows,
what I am planning.
The tree is older than I am,
so I try to hide,
try to understand the collision of why and how
like a collage
of overlapping options laid out

The tree is older than I am,
so I feel small,
smaller than an ant burning in the sun,
I feel like a melted puddle of ice cream
that someone is trying to glue back together.

The tree is older than I am.
I am young and strong.
I take advantage, with a chainsaw
cutting into the tree,
letting it flop in the puddle of ice cream
I hope it drowns.
I hope secretly.
But my conscience breathes on my neck and I am confessing
in my sleep.

The tree is older than I am,
I am shouting in my sleep,
fighting the air
for an imaginary tree I killed with sticky hands.
I deny it, I explain it,
I try to drown myself. But I feel more disgusted than suffocated.
The tree is older than I am,
with reaching branches and scars from years of living
waves of dread fill me and wash me to an ocean
where I pose nearly naked for a camera and eyes
that disdain and discredit.
Yet there is something fascinating about being thin;
so thin that I am dizzy and
plunge
into the dark circle of the camera, the shutter, I think as I become Alice,
and tumble, feeling the ice cream dried between my fingers,
like the stain on Lady Macbeth’s hands.

The tree is still older than I am,
still alive and wounded. I have landed in the sewer
trying to be what I am not.
I sit down in filth hearing the echo of another bad dude
telling me to sit down.
This precious body,
chaos-covered, is not for desperation.

The tree is older than I am.
It wraps me in its arms
and grows to carry me
out of foul sewage.
We rise together.

When I plummet back to earth they tell me that I shouted in my sleep.

The tree is older than you are,
and though they might laugh when I say I have drowned a tree,
I will not forget that it saved me anyway.
They may say I am too small to drown a tree,
they may believe I am confused,
but I will not forget.

I look for the tree.
And I imagine meeting Jack,
knowing that only he and I
understand what it means
to look down.

look down