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Monthly Archives: February 2020

Following Billy Collins’ advice (#336)

–Invite your readers into the poem before you close the door behind them.

Hello.
Nice to see you.
Come in and sit. Sit.
Please get comfortable.
There are pillows on the floor, if you would like.
The couch is really soft.
Excuse me, I need to go close the door.
Good.
Now you’re in here with me.
We can do this together.

Normally I wander this room alone–
Look out the window,
Pick up a random book,
Put it back down in a different spot,
Move the pillows.
I never dust–who does that anymore?
I know I’m looking for something
But I have never figured out what.

It’s not usually lonely in here.
Sometimes I play music
Or I have imaginary conversations in my head.
I like it in here.
But I’m glad you’ve joined me.
Maybe your mute eyes will find what I’m missing.
Maybe showing you my hideout
Will open secret passageways or hidden drawers.
Maybe to impress you
I might even dust.

Please,
Stay as long as you can.
We’ll find the secret some time.
It may take awhile but at least we’ll be together.
There’s a cot over in the corner.
I’ll get some extra blankets.

Rest. Rest.

We can talk all night.

I’d like that.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2020 in new poetry, Uncategorized

 

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invisible she (#335)

she wonders
is she firefly
or cigarette ash?
flower or weed?

is she the first bite of sorrow?
the aftertaste of sleep?

she can feel the universe expanding
and herself getting smaller.
ocean waves die before reaching her toes.

the trees in her forest
can’t seem to hear her
but the harsh cries of ravens
sound like her name
(she always turns to face their black eyes).

this poem does not tell her story.
(this poem does not tell her story
the way she wants it to.)

how can a poem tell the truth
of an invisible she?

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2020 in new poetry, Uncategorized

 

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My father’s lightning (#334)

My dad convinced me
When I was young
I should try to catch lightning

He had done it as a kid
And kept it in his room at night

He showed me a small scar on his hand
Where the lightning burned him
When he finally let it go

He would remind me
Of the lightning on the rare occasions
When he was the one
Who turned off the lights before bed
Leaving me in the dark

Finally
One day during the summer
When I was six or seven
I heard thunder in the middle of a rain storm

I went into my room
Grabbed an empty coke bottle
And my rain hat
To go make my dad proud

My mom stopped me at the door

When I told her about the lightning
She took off my rain hat
Kissed me on the forehead
And told me not this storm

I wondered for a couple of years
If my failure was why
My dad stopped telling me stories
Before turning off the lights
And leaving me in the dark
And then was eventually gone altogether

But now I understand
How my mother chose me

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2020 in new poetry, Uncategorized

 

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