The graveyard shift has a solitary pace,
a long distance run for some thoroughbred
putting itself out there.
How I prefer these cloaked night owl
passages, the clock idle, and the mind
freely roaming, if keen with intention.
This babysitter concentrates.
A house watchman sprouting

hooves, the couch now a brook and,
nearby, nylon screens commanding some
mistral. I lie here opening. It’s
an intricate job. Across

the street, by moonlight, a machine is
devouring lilacs for a parking lot.
Seems rather dumb, the large merciless
rototiller lapping up sweet bunches…

Severity bleeds mute, says it’s humane.
I turn, trot on, become

a notebook momentarily. The flanks,
bulging images, succumb to the dignity
which language unbridles.
By sunrise, a Benzedrine mare,
the words will reclaim themselves

as the barn beds me down.


Check out Stephen’s website.

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