Wisdom of the Graying

The hum of the freeway,
the silent flesh of another day
shifting to gray.
It all becomes narrow,
an ancient corridor
where you sift through
the leftover murmurs
of some grand architecture.

Voices collect within
the window, and birds
flap eagerly across
the sun’s faded stare.
But nothing comes for you.
No dream or epiphany
rushes through your skin.
The weekend has shrunk
once again, and things are
still incomplete. Or unfound.
And the birds and voices
have already become
smaller than the past. And this
poem becomes the moment
because it can’t be anything
else or more, just as the sun
disappears, trapped
in its own glow.

A Certain Type of Warmth

A flooding
Of silent whiteness
Appears within this glassy window.
But something burns
Inside, hotter
Than any truth. I remember
When we used to go
Out into the snow. I would
Shiver and shake, but you braved
Those knife-like winds.
You wanted to build snowmen
And snow castles and tiny
Snow worlds to rule over.
But now this world is without
You. Just
Flat and damp. And the snow
piling atop.

Written for the 54th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, the topic being “The Bleak Midwinter.”

Salvaging Some Sad-Ass Verses

I’ve decided to look back at some of the poems I’ve posted here and give one or two a good rewrite. For the first I chose “Incomplete.” This poem was hastily written. Have a look:


Night hovering above
I shutter my eyes
The hum of stars

Night hovering above
Cold grass between fingers
All the windows are silent

I shutter my eyes
And watch the distance
Memory unfurls

The hum of stars
Echoes of distant violence
Long dead to dream

Either every other line is a cliche or trite image. Even the title stinks! This was an experiment in a form I came across called Troiku, but experimentation is not an excuse for doggerel. I should probably scrap it, but let me see if there’s anything worth salvaging:

The hum of skies:
echoes of distant violence
long dead to dream

So, I went from 4 stanzas to just 1. So already it’s better, right? Well, maybe. It’s still not very good. Notice some of the slight word changes that (hopefully) make the imagery a bit more interesting. However, I think the change to “skies” is a little odd, and lines 2 and 3 are still trite. I’m not sure if “dead to dream” is cliche, but “long dead” certainly is. Let’s see if we can make a few adjustments:

Night hovers above
you, hues your eyes
to the soft motionless
of violence. 

OK, more than a “few” adjustments. I’ve returned “Night hovers above” because it’s an okayish image and I needed something to help establish the scene, but I shifted the line to present-tense and followed it with “you.” This is to make the poem more “immediate” and tense as the reader suddenly dropped into the center of the action. Still not the amazing though. I thought using “the soft motionless” as a noun was clever, but I can see now it might be confusing and pretentious. I thought “soft motionlessness” but that’s clunky and “the soft motions” is weird. Maybe “soft motion” or “soft notion”? I don’t know. Below is an alternate version: 

Night hovers above
you, hews your eyes
to echo.

I think this version is OK, but still a bit odd and cryptic. Maybe if I give it a title like “Memory,” it can give the reader some direction on how to possibly interpret lines 2 and 3. Maybe night is forcing one to confront the past? The only issue with that is “Memory” sucks as a title unless it’s offset by something really interesting.

So, yeah. Both versions: not great, but they’re certainly better than the original. Probably should give these “spawn” names though. Let’s see…

The Completion of Stars

Night hovers above
you, hues your eyes
to the soft motionless
of violence. 



Night hovers above
you, hews your eyes
to echo.

OK. I’m not the best at coming-up with titles, but beats “Incomplete,” right?

Again, both of these poems aren’t very good, but I think looking at my past work and trying to break things down objectively could be beneficial. And, hopefully, I’ve inched just a little bit closer to writing something decent.



No greater cohesion
Than the coiling of a cape sundew,
Spreading its life across the eyes
Of a mosquito until all becomes
Hidden. A tiny being reshaped,
Disassembled, just as this moment
Becomes something else
In the camera’s chamber. I watch
The video a couple times. The mosquito
Whose silence is rolled deeper
Into the plant’s, doesn’t seem to mean
Anything. The camera simply lingers
As if watching the inevitable waves
Lapping against the rocks. Maybe
There is no conflict here. Just reaction.
The mosquito and the secretions
Of the sundew, extensions of something
Else, reconfiguring beyond the dross
Of tiny wars, a larger thing without
Pain or plan.


The Nuisance of Dream

I know of others who dream of the stars.
They become quiet monuments
Hovering above the vastness, or the exposed seeds
Of broken fruit, waiting to be.
Soft, blinking memories held together
By infinity–It doesn’t do anything for me.
But I wished it did, sometimes. Those poets
Who can gather stars and connect them
To higher wonders. Or pull the immensity
Down to lesser, more pertinent things.
But I never had that. I look up and just see
A collection of light slapped against
A darkened mass. I don’t feel the wonder,
Nor do I feel the insignificance. I stand
Underneath a hurry of gust. A noise
Comes down the street and silence
Is tossed away. Soon, the stars will
Forget us and forget those who used them
As we slip into shadow. At least I tried,
They will say. At least I tried.