The Poetry of
Jack Scott

Poems Vol.2: Seven to forty lines

From A Sorely Troubled Sky

Within a grey forbidding sky, despite the icy, piercing rain driven by the lashing wind,

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Thirst

A penny, sir, please give a cent or more if you can spare it,

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Infallible

You’re wrong, he said, but am I? And why does he think I am?

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A Time for Dreaming

There was a time for dreaming and the hope of order.

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Tightrope

There is too much in a dream to live with.

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Soft Song

Draw me a sound, little one, from your well.

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When Silence Strikes

Lightning Strikes and nothing changes except what lightning strikes.

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The Unrest

The wind rattled dry leaves in warning

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The Toad in the Stone

The toad in the stone waited, waited all alone . . . still

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Like an Inkling Lost

Something earlier than frost and colder than frost’s chill

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Some Idea of Stone

Laughter has become small and brittle like tiny, shiny pebbles

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Loss

What I have lost I can never hope to gain again.

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To a Friend, Enjoying Success and Reward

If we could hark backward, old friend, to the starting place of youth –

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The Cry of Clams

He who hears the cry of clams within the mud hears too well.

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Survival

Can I live in the shadow of your absence?

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Gravity

The death is cast, that common fate that all must reach

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On Leaving

I know I have no right to you for you are yours

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Flagrance

Carnations for your table, Roses for your bed,

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Now is a Thousand Times Then

Those things I did not do for you that you asked me to

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Sorry You Died, Owl.

There is no hunting ground in heaven, not for you.

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Quicksilver

Fishes, lovely fishes, hardly ever seen,

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The Ocean of Other

Laughter is liquid, joy, the ends and middle of waterfall.

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Dreaming Light

Had I the wisdom to be wise I would close my eyes

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The Birth of Art

My well-being is sharpened like a pencil

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Missing

There is a seashell missing.

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Are We Talking Love?

She said I need too much.

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Try Cussing

How do you hurry a splinter out?

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A Size Too Small

Togetherness is more than it’s supposed to be, or less.

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Two Shadows

I do not doubt you; I am doubting me. Waiting is heavy lifting.

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Other Lyrics, Other Songs

I have learned at least the WORDS:

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Caring

No card for this, no occasion.

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A Pet of Poetry

Love, a pet of poetry, now limps within vocabulary

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The Best of No Worlds

I need to get away from indecision. I need beach on mountaintop

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An Appeal

I made of your omissions a crime against my truth and tried you in my heart.

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The Dragon Needs Lancing

A loneliness persists, stubborn and deep , like a Dragon to be lanced,

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Purple Mud

It’s sad to see mountains come to their knees

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Locks and Keys

In my very own sense, I am outside society, against consensus.

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Delicate Wingfoot

Delicate Wingfoot, you flit to and fro, but never go.

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Rima the Bird Girl

You could be Rima the birdgirl except for your fear of height.

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A Particle of Interest

There is a spot in my eye, a particle of interest, a speck of attention.

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A Chair’s Chair

I do not wonder that you’re so firm, a chair’s chair.

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Swan Song

If I but had this day to me I would sing a flock of cygnets free

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Her

I was thinking about her, how, if she were older (not I, younger),

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Camino en Montana

Motes in a forest candled by sunlight, suspended and still, ambered in honey.

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Set Theory

I am eccentric deliberately on purpose.

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Vincent

Where are you now that I need you?

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Into Exile, Unto Home

A shiver in this tropic. A splinter in this flesh.

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Laundry Day

Poor mother monkey at the rich mother zoo

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Cocoons Should Have Zippers

Cocoons should have zippers and escape claws

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Adopting a Puppy

When I think of love death must come to mind, for all love dies.

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Handshakes of the Clock

It is not this night or day. It is nights and days,

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Not Enough Monkeys

Given room enough and time, monkeys enough and typewriters,

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Snake Oil

I am the TRUTH, the LIGHT, HOPE.

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Local Knowledge Only

The unknown surrounds in a limitless sea of time:

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Archeology

Villages do not last, are built upon villages that did not last.

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In Touch With Roots

Bare earth is scarce. Whatever isn’t paved is woven through with roots

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Different Soil

Somehow surviving the outer vacuum I arrive bravely in this new world.

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Easy Come, Easy Go

I have my choice at last: either forest or the sea.

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Color Drain

The color drain last night bled the flavor from my dreams,

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The Restless Model

My resting tree pressed like flower flat upon my window glass

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Outfumbled

The dust in the hallway grows, a crop of time

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Ratios

Small flowers often hide in the shade of larger ones seeking safety more than sun.

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Too Red

Tricycle left at the corner of the block can be ridden anywhere

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Blood Bond

Brick by brick by brick the wall goes up strong as stubbornness,

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And That’s the End of It

Apple tree grows apple, apple holds an egg,

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Fashion Statement

The frog, though hungry, waits passively, invisible as he can be,

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Stations of the Clock

Isness is a fine place to be.

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Conspiracy of Flowers

Flowers flourish in field and greenhouse,

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Regimen

The outer inner city sleeps, then dozes post-alarm,

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Etchings

Prickly thicket ambush, serpentine complexity,

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Spiral Binder

Most things go ‘round, pushed or pulled, or left alone.

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Arcane Astrology

You hang a heavy sign around my neck

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Insolvency

Though I make deposits daily there are no funds in my account

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Spring

Winter blows no more. Spring tiptoes in like plovers

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An Amber Husk

The egg was laid inside the fern, a fecund nest, unseen, forgotten

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Fata Morgana

Murmurs rise from silence unnoticed by the ear.

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Purpose?

Sand runs slowly – all sand has run before-

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Touch Me!

Touch me- damnit – touch me!

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Mr. and Mrs. Sisyphus

We wove on separate looms all day the fabric spread upon our nights

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An Epidemic of Music

Sad, drowning in this music. Sadder still, drowning joy in it ,

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Victim

Lust rapes me into the park away from privacy

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Ralph

Ralph lives in the park,

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Metamorphoses

I am the sun, you moon, if you’d like to play that game.

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Subterfugery

The bat’s a menace to hair, rats suck on babies, all spiders are Black Widows.

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Frozen Funds

You stop payment on good check, (When money’s short there is no joint account.)

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Odds

July in a dusty convertible, topless on a windless night,

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Cadences

I hear a different drummer, arrhythmic, near.

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Close Enough

You measure distance with your ruler eye in whole numbers only;

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My Captain

I am happy to report, my captain, that we are traveling in no direction at all,

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A Covenant with Mice

No, my children, you can’t grow. You must stay kittens and eat fish,

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She Hurts Me

An ash in my eye vis a vis a sun. She is his, a man I like whose name I do not know.

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Separate Lightnings

Time struck separate lightnings. Two strangers struck apart were lit unmet,

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Reality Check

Here is where I stop and wait for reality while I catch my breath.

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Bee Kin

Bees are not kin to hummingbirds, or anything but other bees,

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Preview

Wind flutters cobwebs upon my vacant grave.

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Sleepwalking

The moon is full tonight; I watched it filling up,

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Peril

Hum fast and silent, draw out the music long enough

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Trackless

On the virgin turnpike snow no traffic, no tire prints, the only footprints, mine.

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Fair Exchange

I am dying, can you save me?

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Suspicion Contract

No amount of rights can weigh as much as shadow of a wrong, if a finger’s near the scale.

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Sleep and Mexico

Sleep is easy. It was sleep or Mexico.

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Gremlins vs Leprechauns

The leprechauns of order are marauded by gremlins of disrepair.

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Anonymous Gambler

Idiot savant of odds, for you full sanity is risky.

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Fence Around the Universe

Can there be an end to endlessness, a boundary around space,

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An Evening of Delicate Gestures

An evening of delicate gestures fractured by a sudden change of music,

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Bedtime

Time, time, time- time. It is all a question of time, it being all.

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Damocles

Light as feathers singeing in the hell of what might happen

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Keeping Up Appearances

However serious I am I must match that with appearance

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Not on My Watch

The snail secretes her own tightwire upon a razor blade

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Stomach Love

Light digests the night as birds grind softer things

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Why Did She Cry?

Why did she cry? Why didn’t she softly let go and drop into sleep

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Costume Party

I wear a small self-sticking sign upon my costume,

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Homocrotalus

Left hand seeks refuge within the frame.

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Uncreator

I built this car from wrecks and scraps and junkers.

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Encore

The end of this earth (best forget the others.) may be near.

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Angel

And on the eighth day . . . there was Music and Dancing in the heavens,

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Cassandra.

I’ll defy your god, relieve you, earn his carbon copy rage, believe you.

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The Bread and Butter Never Work Out Even.

No wonder we’re bewildered. We know too much about too many things

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Multiple Choice Finals

Just keeping my head above water, trying to, not really swimming or simply afloat

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Art

If the time spent seeing it exceeds the time spent making it,

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The Season is Over

The season is over. It was bright and fast in the sun.

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A Shame to Waste this Night on Sleep

A shame to waste this night on sleep. There are more than promises to keep.

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Lady Loneliness

Dick gets a lot of raises; he gives them to himself.

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Deus ex Macaroni

God is Chemistry and Physics, not Theology: flour and eggs and spices,

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Will

lounging on the sofa preparing to participate in the Winter Olympics vicariously;

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Tunnel of Lovelessness

Gentle negative space in motion. So thoughtful, generous,

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Bindings

Who is the other bookend, the author, the poet being one,

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Wisdom

Always the man said, you know it, do it!

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Monte Negro

It’s you and me, god, upon the screen- you, me projected,

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On Changing One’s Horse Mid-Stream

It’s said that knowledge grows with each funeral of an elder.

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My Man, Harry

Dirty Harry you’re my man. Keep me safe as best you can.

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Not Expecting an Answer

God, are you coming or going, which is to say, are you moving toward me or away?

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Ex Cathedra

The old man says something even in his sleep and I still listen, but only in my sleep.

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Willie Jones Eats Poppy Seeds

Willie Jones Eats Poppy Seeds and wiles the hours away.

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The Darker Father

The Darker Father, Actuality, dismisses his improbable son with a flick of the hand

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Stunted Ones

Stunted Ones, sailing on the swings, digging in the sand for sand,

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You Always Bring a Friend

I long to think not at all and let my eyes go graze like cows upon the golden days.

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My Storyteller

You can’t sleep long enough my story teller to dream them whole again

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Greek Wurlitzer

Black music Greek Wurlitzer squid deaths in fetid air dry suicides

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Charles

You don’t rush toward the end of play, with script in hand, your lines in mind.

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Avalanched

Since stones hurt, as in let the sinless cast the first . . .

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But That, Too

It’s not lust as much as longing, but it‘s lust as well.

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Suppositories

Suppose you were an elephant and won the lottery . . .

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Credit Where It’s Due

My checkbook is on the Bank of Time.

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Paraquoting Colonel Kurtz

The spaciousness The spaciousness of it The Spaciousness! Scary

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The Circle Game

In the beginning there was nothing. Nothing was all there was. In the end there was nothing.

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Unbiased

If you neuter Desires, you abort Preferences, cancel Choices, destroy Distinctions

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Look Up

I rise, weightless, above pain and blend with echoes.

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Her Dress

I saw a dress today in a store window on a street I had not walked without you.

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Surrogates

We need artists to see what we need to see, to feel what we need to feel,

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I Never Said I Was a Prince

Kiss me, I’m a frog. You want a prince? Kiss me.

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The Bridge of Years

I think I am mid-bridge, but the swirling of the water makes me wonder when I stop to rest:

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Truth is not a Konstant.

All Konstants contain Variables because Konstants are so All.

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My End is Sinking

My end is sinking from my weight of grief occasioned by your jumping ship.

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Releasing the Dove

I never thought I’d even half enjoy this, but kick and curse and scream instead.

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Grief

Grief is slashes, stabs from many knives, sharp and dull, all deadly.

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Web of the Cob

It is natural to think the cob is swift, too quick to see because we never see it.

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Cobwebs

Ask not what is a cob, it is a plagiarist, a squatter,

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Wrong Turn

Two toads converged within a wood and passed the time of day, lingering in the hope of prey.

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Nothing to Nothing

Briefly home from another unwon war, barely survived,

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Other Victims, Other Crimes

My heart became imprisoned while visiting my past

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One Monkey Down

So poorly you have used the rest of me to little profit but my loss

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Mi Casa, etc.

Your life is subsidized; your future is in hock.

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The Sounds of Silence

The world of silence has no edges, no angles, no corners, no antipodes, no form or shape.

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May Pole at Midnight

A spectrum of emotions segues seamlessly between the poles of black and white,

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Sleep’s Splinters

Where go the shards of broken sleep? Underfoot beneath attention’s tiptoe

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I Am Fraction

Do we dream, or are we dreamt? Mind is iceberg in sea of thought

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Courtship

I watch you across the pond. It’s premature to speak. You do not see me; I’m not in your book.

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Fragments

I’ve come, said wind, without a word,

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Ill-Calm

The shadows fall back allowing a glimpse through the now-clear partition

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Look Homeward Fungus!

Those who’ve lived before gratefully acknowledge that what was swollen, ominous

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A Great Fall

Irrevocably into raw omelet, Humpty went dumpty,

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No One Ever Asked for All of Me

Years ago some of us got on my toboggan.

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Beautiful Lady

Beautiful lady, ancient of pose, dining on money, hiding in clothes.

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Rorschach Tears

I am lost without loving. Lost. I cannot love child, man or mankind. I cannot even love dog,

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Like the Worst of Summer

Being away from you, the loneliness: there are air-conditioned rooms,

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Superman Needs a Place to Change

There is, of course, the possibility of dying. I know what I can do, yet have not done it.

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Well, We’ll See

I moved a book that pushed a book that nudged a book, that loosed a book that toppled from the shelf

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A Clean White Clock

Time moves on, yet stays in place. It doesn’t change and we don’t change it,

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The Spell of Idea’s Flame

Hunkered on the exiled smoker’s stoop, streetlight’s enough for me to read by.

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Voltage is a Rattlesnake

Electric before electricity, anticipant participant, will his thumb fit in the socket?

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Mountain Crockery

Slow waves breaking on the sea from shore. Shore shells, fragments of the ancient

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Stalagmite and Stalactite

Sick with grief at missing you, suddenly completely realizing that parting was the truth,

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Divorce Decree

Hark, all you lovely witches sirens on the rocks of matrimony, cast ashore as flotsam,

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Who’s Steering?

I can’t breathe. There isn’t enough time. I may have used my air up waiting, smoking, worrying.

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Shadow Matter

Dust, powder penumbra, softest erosion, suspensions wafting barely above gravity,

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Happiness is:

living in a cage full of butterflies. pictures of a wedding. building a snowman.

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The Ethics of Bullshit

I, the poet, know that future because it is now past.

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Room Service

Dreams drive me from my bed. Before I’m done with sleep, sleep is done with me:

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Ensemble Performance

Dreams arose upon sleep’s beach as surely as a moon begotten tide

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The Host

The buzzards feast upon Prometheus,

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Antivenin

At literary distance writer conjures deadly menace, let’s say, a cobra,

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Behold, Alas

Shiva comes to mind, protective of companions

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Stretch Marks

I remember my birth, and now, having died, I remember my death.

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Love’s Math

Between two lovers is a constant, undetected, of tolerated distance regardless of their passion.

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Who?

When was the last time I wondered what wonder was?

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At Odds

I gamble, win or lose. Is risk worth loss against the hope of gain?

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Middle Age

Beginning was the hardest part, building immunity to the disease.

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Cab Fare

I never thought I’d reach twenty one, but here I am.

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A Benignity

Snow’s a blanket of relief. I don’t have to go out.

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My Beloved

She’s all in the here of now. Would you live in her past?

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Surf

In and out of moods, surf and surfing. Flat and stranded I rise again,

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Guilty as Charged

Surrounded by If-lives I surrender to reluctant posse,

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The Phantom Actor

Dare I break through the fourth wall to emerge again

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The Cliffwalker

They told me. I didn’t listen, so confident was I walking the precipice edges.

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Escapee

I let a poem get away. It came to me this morning from my heart and head.

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Spark

Sitting, looking out watching birds fluster at my feeder

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Simple Multiplication

We have no instruments sensitive enough to weigh or measure nothing.

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Come Time

Don’t expect me to be heroic come time to be your movie star.

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Unhappy Hour

This is loneliness. pinching empty hours into flat minutes, stealing spice from food,

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A Kiss on the Lips of Height

It is far to mountaintop, farther for the lost.

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The Arrow of Sight

Gulls and clouds black and white upon the distance, blue, the visible of heaven the within of day lit sky.

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A la Do si do

It’s likely in each pairing, each in turn is lover while the other is the loved.

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Moonlit Astrology

If marriages are made in heaven where can couples go from there?

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Manic Depression

Einstein almost had it right, but not quite for those of us down here.

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