JOHN GREY – 2 POEMS

THE EDGE

So there I was

standing at the edge of the cliff with Angela

and we made this vow,

like a wedding vow almost

but with the land dropping away at our feet

and bitter sea-wind blowing in our faces.

It was a pledge to be faithful until death.

I’d known Angela since childhood.

She read books, even difficult ones.

She loved to listen to music.

Her taste extended to jazz.

And she was drawn to the sea.

Not so much to be splashing around in it.

But to observe from a distance,

to feel its power not its playfulness.

The vow was more her idea than mine.

In fact, I was a little uneasy

standing in such a precarious position

on a chilly Fall day.

But she had grown into such a cute teenage girl.

And I loved the touch of her fingers.

And, oh yes, her breath on the back of my neck.

But, after we had repeated our affection so solemnly,

I could detect a certain sadness in her eyes.

It was as if she was saying, “Now what.”

As if dreams end by coming true.

Or a cliff, like the one we peered down from,

offered no opportunities to go any higher.

Or the sea was so vast, so deep,

it could only be indifferent

to two fifteen-year-olds trying to act older.

It was a week later, and in a less perilous setting,

when, with a tear or two, she released me from that vow.

I would have done the same but she beat me to it.

We were not a couple bonded for all time.

But we’d been exposed to the perils of such bondage…

not only bone-shaking and blustery

but at the very edge.

~

A HOUSEFLY REVISITS SYLVIA PLATH

I press against

the curve of glass,

peer out at my world

of linoleum, formica

and stainless steel.

Will I never sip

on the sugar crumbs again

or trot across the good china.

nibbling food-scraps

as I go?

I’m in this bell-jar –

yes, that’s right,

just like Sylvia Plath,

beating my wings,

buzzing loudly.

Well we know

what good that did

for her.

Soon enough,

the oxygen in here

will dissipate

until there’s not enough

to support the likes of me.

Sylvia, I know how

it was for you.

Someone trapped

you in their grip,

popped you into a container,

screwed the lid tight,

left you to choke

on your own imprisonment.

Just like you,

I’ll fall to the bottom eventually.

And yet I’m curious to see

what you have written there.

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PETER SCHIRESON – IN THE THICK

In the Thick

In the thick

of our holy quarrel,

she leans in

to whisper

the most important thing,

but is silent,

and I want to leave her

alone

across the table

on her device,

but I knock over our old vase

spilling the violets,

and she looks at me

as if before they fell,

she’d already

seen them

fallen.

~

Find Peter online here. 

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TIM STALEY – 13 HAIKU

13 HAIKU   All the naked women turned out to be Barbies on the kitchen floor   ~   The spider grins when something crashes its web and breaks its connections   ~   A crystal airway blocked by a hot dog collapsed the operation   ~   Alone time in December is somber   […]

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JOHN D ROBINSON – THE SLAVE

THE SLAVE

In the back-streets and
public conveniences, in
amongst bushes and
bus shelters, in
abandoned buildings,
slums and plush
apartments,
she’d give head and
hand-jobs for the price
of a bag of heroin,
Joanna would sell her
clothes, her self-respect,
her dear mother’s
soul, her father’s
eyes, her sister’s heart
for a bag of heroin,
she’d blind the sun,
confiscate the moon
and rip the blood
from your veins
for a bag of heroin
and she did
until a fucked-up
batch of heroin
beat her down
forever.

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JOHN D ROBINSON – UNNOTICED

UNNOTICED

I’ve left the best of my
poetry unpublished,
to be discovered after
my death: poems about
love and betrayal, of
drugs and alcohol,
poems about cats, of
their majesty and
mysterious wonder,
of living in poverty,
of fighting and
fucking and of family
holidays and abortions
and rejections and of
loss again and again.
I’ve left the best of my
poetry unread,
to be left in the hands
of those more gifted,
more driven to the
love of life to ever
let a single moment
go unnoticed.

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Rajnish Mishra – Sunday Evening

Sunday evening

Sunday evening is worse than Monday morning,

The fear of death, says Sir Francis, is worse than death.

A sickly feeling rises and churns in my stomach,

even now, after I’ve lived through such seven hundred

and seventy non-workingSundays. It’s the same every time.

It starts rising from Saturday. In the morning

a panic reminder rings, a tightening in intestines.

Saturday evening warns me that the next

will be the last before death comes again.

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POETRY: KYLE PERDUE – “Breakfast With a Skeleton”

“Breakfast With a Skeleton”

I walked down the morning stairs

a skeleton sat at my typewriter

he was turning the wheel

trying to get the paper through

“you have to guide it through.”

I said through a yawn

he looked at me snide

his bone and marrow yellowish from decay

what are you looking at?

I thought

you’re a god damn skeleton

he took a sip of coffee

I watched it go into his jaw

through his throat

down his belly

and onto the floor

he’d gotten the paper in

and I could hear him now from the kitchen

he was typing something

“eggs?”

I called out

no response

I walked over

he was head-down, still typing

“YEAH!”

he screamed

jesus

I made the eggs— dashed with some cinnamon

I sat on one end of the table

him on the other

I watched the eggs travel through his body

and splat onto the floor where my dog ate them

“terrible.”

he said

“is that, is that cinnamon?”

what was left of his face cringed

“what were you writing?”

no response

“what were you writing?”

he took another bite of eggs and said:

“a body for myself.”

“a body for yourself?”

“a vessel for this hollow, lonely, useless, irritating,

appalling arrangement of calcium.”

“that’s what you were writing?”

“that and a love poem.”

“for Meryl”

“but how do you write a body?”

I asked him

“the same way you write a love poem,

it writes you.”

I had a sip of coffee

“I like you, skeleton, you should stick around.”

“can’t,

I’ve got to get an x-ray today.”

he showed me his broken arm

“you ever tried writing a love poem with a broken arm?”

he asked

“no, but I have with a broken heart.”

we sat in silence

just before he read me his body

and his love poem

I cried during both

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