It’s Time


Gerard swings for the fences. American Digest tends to do that. He posted this back in November, pre-Thanksgiving, amid the rending of garments and whatnot over the proper order for all things holiday. So it was out of order, and I waited, and here it is. Of course once you watch it you’ll realize tout suite that it it isn’t out of order at all.  I haven’t been wearing reading glasses for long, and this one forced me to figure out what to do with them when something gets in my eye.

Back to the Dance

When I started this creative writing class, I swore that I would only write original content. Meaning that I would not go back through my years of essay/poetry/flash fiction blogging for material. Thus far I have honored that. But our last assignment is to write a poem that involves the concept of or a sense of time in some way, and damn it, I knew immediately that I had the perfect piece to go back and pull forward. Here’s the original from (oh my) nearly 5 years ago. I love that I’ve been recording things for this long. Since what, 2008, I think. How’s that for a sense of time?

Here it is, poemized. Poetified. Poefied. It’s probably not the final form. We always revise and revise and revise, of course. But how nice this is:

We Have a Dance that Makes Us Forget

We’re incredible, you and me.
We should be fetal and weeping
all the things that come our way.
But we barely notice as we act like waking up this morning
erases all the times he woke us up last night
the poor boy and his cutting teeth and
whatever the rattling wind
did to his dreams.

And in the fog of another morning
we are buried under the things.

But we’re incredible, you and me.
We should be dim and unresponsive
if we could afford the lapse.
But we barely notice as we give the girl a ‘good morning’
and a choice of food for breakfast.
She crests the stairs carrying
the bags under her eyes
that her father gave her.

And the harried ballet of the birth of a day gets eased by
– we’re already late.

But we’re incredible, you and me.
We should be hunched and scuffling
if we could even move that fast.
But we barely notice and we make a little dinner
and go “ga-ga” to the boy
and “use your manners” to the girl
and we smile and
have a family hug.

And they want to hear music now because
they dance to everything that isn’t sleep.

The old men on the TV continue to beat each other dumb
while the old man in his chair heaves a sigh
that comes out like the ghost of his grandparents
rushing to turn up the radio.
A sigh that works like amnesia.
The television disappears with a click.
A fog horn mourns in the distance.
The music plays and our people dance.

We’re incredible, you and me.

The White Noise of Prophecy


What if I just drove hard
with a picture in my head of where I wanted to go
and that picture was a desert.
I drove and I dreamed and I screamed and I became
a carbureted harbinger of ills that I can taste when I speak them.
And I spoke of where I wanted to be –
black charred sands
ice cold mornings
a lifetime of miles from her grave.

What if all I could do on the way was
vent that little cigarette window and watch my spent ashes
dancing an unlikely moment in the eddy
while I rod full throttle
with a picture in my head of a place that doesn’t exist
because it might be the only way I can stop seeing that forest –
damp green sanctuary
damn dirty cliché
all moss and mood and running snow
pooling in raucous serenity
where the world’s worst poems about loss
collect to commiserate over their feelings of inadequacy
and where a dipped toe stirs guilt into prophecy –

white noise
the pestilent buzz of a dead limb
the prayer that didn’t take

And what if I was Jonah
driving in a panic away from the mouth of a giant fish
because in the rearview I saw inside its maw
and I saw that wicked forest
mocking me forever as it begged me home.
So I had to fly forward to a burnt delusion
to leave that pretty little place in the woods
where I buried her.