Posts Tagged ‘Flat Earth Poetry’

Someone had gotten there before me
and left their mark.
Her skin, owned not worn,
projects a burlesque outline
not unlike
the others,
Shelby like a hurricane
with an awkward sign
that said
“First of the night”
and to those who
would label
me as virtuous as
Armstrong or Polo
I can only say
that unexplored lands
have never been
so beneficial –
so human.
So intimate.
The barren topography
of a Winnipeg winter
replaced by the subtly
of sin
and the artificial openness
paid for by capitalism.
A man shouldn’t laugh
at this
person –
stripped as she was –
but one couldn’t
ignore the juxtaposition.
The interplay
of nineties music
and my hands being
overly forward.
She asked why I took my glasses
“To see you”
So it is. That the eyes see
but the body knows.

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June 8th, 2018

We pulled our lawn chairs close together
onto the flexure of the world
and into the hanging light, that often falls
at the same time of day as the failing of our beer supply,
whispered our deepest concerns.
A lot of people die without knowing anything truly happy.
A lot of people die without knowing anything.
A lot of people die without.

A lot of people die.

Occum’s flattened earth is taut, and doesn’t give.
Where do rivers go if they don’t run in circles?
When they come to the edge of an unfolded map
do they fall into wine-dark space? Or rise above, finally relinquished
from the gravity of indecision. This space between
spaces is so thin, and haunting. Is it worse to be angry in a bad place,
or lonely in a beautiful place?

Larry Walters knows. Our last beer is for him.
Poured into the abyss, floating ever upward
above the mountains, passed the lanterns that
hang from an antique bronze cloche
and into heaven where he sits with St. Anthony
outside the pearly gates. They kill time. Talk about travel.
Food. Wine. Tattoos. But they don’t go in. They never go in.

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The summer of 2008
is still neatly
cut away from my forgetting mind.
Protected by a holy space –
a vacuum that the eaters
of words cannot

Our apartment
was a typical
triple-decker. Cluttered
like the 20 somethings
that shambled its
ancient wooden floors.
Everything creaking.
Underneath discarded shoes
separated from their pairings,
scattered papers,
and underwear
there existed a skin I don’t
think we ever saw more than once.

The action atop that firmament
played out very differently.
In a room discarded by everything else
I sat with black coffee,
keeping time with circles in a cup
to the constant heart beat
of the house,
and I wrote over the prayers
and whispers that came through the walls.
It was isolated but not lonely.

were more interested
in unions than exposition.
More than one person
lead by an extended hand
past the womb in which
I feverishly wrote.
The bright light of the kitchen
silhouetted your umbilical march.
Sometimes slurred or staggered
yet always like a salmon returning
to the place of its birth.

Laying amidst
so many discarded half-poems
I could keep time
to you and be jealous
that while a fire raged inside you
I was left only with messy sheets
and a laptop. It wasn’t until 5
years later that you told me
you always felt the same.

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We met between parenthesis.
A silence just long enough
for a kiss.
It never happened.
The beginning and end
of the New England summer curving
like your hips.
Like your cheeks
on either end of a smile.
I awoke for a second
on your couch
and left what I saw unsaid.
Putting words to that moment
seemed apocryphal.
In all the worlds
where I held your hand,
none were real,
not to anyone else, at least.
I still revisit those nights
in the shadows of a train.
The way you presented
a hoppy beer
with eyes so wide
their parenthesis could
not be distinguished.

Until a blink
washes those memories away.
An aside in the story
perhaps more interesting
but only so
because it isn’t the story.
Would it have been better
if you stayed
and I tried.
Would you have gone
to California
where every day is summer?

I still wonder if you miss
snow and the knit wool
that caught falling flakes,
how warm your smile is
on cold nights,
and me. I wonder if you miss me.
I wonder if I exist
in those parenthesis
on either end of your smile,
my name on your lips.

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Burn it when I go

Kafka once said
“Burn it when I go”
and I agree.

Stuff it in a tower,
light it before a mirror
and use it to tame the sea.

I folded my words
to push against the water
so the tide and I could flow

But when I die, it will
become a bridge
so burn it when I go.

Thomas Aquinas once said:
“Burn it all like straw”
and I agree.

I reaped enough
to stay alive,
but it fed only me.

I lasted long enough
to see the whole world
and love everything I saw.

So gather these things
against my silent chest
and burn it all like straw.

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Cold winter with a warm beverage
long drives in ice weather
long sighs, long days,
long sips through cool whip
the edges of which
stick to your fingers
obscuring the nail.
A quick lick
off with addictions
on with predictions
some stuck on the tips
of your hair.
You play the piano
as you point
around the room
and in the depth of
your stare
are 3 bouncing
balls of light
that burn as they heal.
Night time makes windows
into mirrors, and in them
I see you, through you,
and in you
I see me.

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A word, a world.
A tongue to share.
A woman, a girl,
a peace between the pair
of contradictions.
A silly set of paradoxes,
those two have never met –
a woman and a world.

A thought, a meaning.
A flooding of the heart.
A man, a child weaning
a dammed river’s part
in the whole of creation.
An odd pair, illusions,
two parallel lines.
A man and his flood.

A day, a night,
flood and world collide
abundance, a blight
only time will decide
the outcome of it all.
A strange couple, oil and water
always separate
like words and thoughts.

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She had been in a rush all day
but she paused for a second
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.
There were no flowers to smell in the city.

No friend she ever had would recall
this small act of humanism, this epiphany
that would slow the fall for just one second
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.

After all, there where no flowers to smell in the city
Nothing to do, if you paused for just one second
So Naturally there was nothing to pity in the fact
that something was about to fall.

50 stories up, a painter too felt the epiphany
so he paused for just one second
Letting his feet forget the many hardship they’ve endured.
His friends couldn’t recall him ever acting so odd.

50 stories below, the cool, smooth, gray, of the sidewalk
Looked as if a blank paper with yellow lines.
It enjoyed the idle talk of business pedestrians about how
There were no flowers to smell in the city.

50 different stories, filled with people
none of whom could recall
it ever raining red paint before.
Something must have gone wrong.

The black and white newspapers the next day
capture only a monochrome woman lying face down
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.
Why she had left work, her secretary couldn’t recall.

There were no flowers to smell in the city,
Nothing but leaves and cold air.
The weight of 50 stories having painted her tale
on the cool, smooth, gray of the sidewalk.

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Breathing Words

Of all the words that I have ever read
A single pair has taught me all I know.
Appearing only once, as a brailled set
that showed my fingers where they need to go.

Their meaning lingers, hidden in my hand
Mending the creation written on my palms
An exhale lends a warm demand;
her skin as ancient as the psalms.

The message repeats with each rise and fall.
She feels me reading her in the dark.
She meets me when her breathing stalls,
Her fingers following in an arc.

That night I found the truth in our bed
“I am, I am, I am” was all it said.

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