I’ve been writing poetry for a long time, and I’ve even started putting together a small book full of poems. I like to experiment with different styles, some structured and some freestyle. This post has only a handful of the total poems that will be in my book, Dissociation. I’m still not sure when the book will be finished, but it will likely be finished by next year. Without further ado, here are the samples!
A Bird in the Road
A bird stands in the middle of the road.
What kind is it, can you tell?
It’s too dark to see clearly.
The sun has set but the clouds glow red,
The dim light coating the suburban roofs.
The bird does not move. It stands there
On twiggy, telephone-wire legs.
Its eyes glint as house lights flicker on and off,
Its pupils like shining pools of gasoline,
And for as long as I’ve stared at them, they have not yet blinked.
I want it to blink,
But the longer it does not, the more my skin crawls.
When will it spread its wings and take off to the skies,
Finally fly far away where it becomes a small dark smudge among the clouds,
And when it becomes unseen by the naked eye, shrouded in the last light of the day,
It can, at last, be forgotten.
Is it a dove? A quail? A great blue heron?
I cannot say. The way its feathers ruffle in the wind
Is not quite right.
Does it want something? Food? Attention?
Is it staring at me?
Or perhaps something beyond me?
Is it waiting for its prey?
It is quiet. It does not squawk.
It does not seem to do anything
But linger, its beak facing the rustling trees, thoughtfully.
Yet, I want it gone.
It makes me feel like a child:
Alone, and afraid of the dark.
I do not want to see it anymore.
I clap my hands,
Shout, try to scare it away,
But it does not go
Endless cascade, will you soon desiccate?
Cold grows colder, laughter-stuffed rooms vanish,
Human nature screams at logic: banish.
Fleeing deer, you will never tesselate,
Break all bonds, you want to emancipate.
To you, the heart is a soft, poor blemish.
Look past the mirror—the earth holds anguish.
Young skin thinks it has no expiry date.
Hands full, flashing eyes, what more do you want?
Strange insect, you eat and break all that’s near;
Ultra-pleasure, then ponder loneliness.
Spotlight burns with no one to see your vaunt.
What to take when there is empty frontier?
Starving, you have eaten yourself heartless.
The Joy of Being a Mallard
Oh, lovely mallard,
With your tourmaline feathers,
How lucky you are to be yourself,
To glide happily along fresh, shallow puddles
Just formed by the passing storm,
Nibbling on whatever rests beneath the surface.
With your flittering tail feathers, you make yourself comfortable among the soft grass,
Your companions never far away.
When you grow bored of this place, you will fly on to the next,
Freely, without anything to nail your feathers to the pavement.
You do not understand that you will die,
Or that your companions and offspring will die,
Likely in the cruelest, most horrific, and most natural of ways;
You live to live,
Not to suffer.
You do not fret about the future
Or the past.
You look for food to eat,
You splash among the cool water and preen your young ones.
You only understand that you are alive for now.
Live in Belgium, 1964
The word blares from the rippling screen.
A broadcast of a jazz band
Playing for thousands and thousands of eyes
All watching at the same time in
Those delicate hissing tambourines,
That sensual, vibrating cello,
The air running through a saxophone
Giving life to the cold brass.
The music floats and fills the air.
It is the color of the evening,
This very evening
In this studio where people think to themselves in French,
Slightly overheating in their suits in the brash overhead lights.
What a moment to be alive.
Everything coming together to create this moment,
How exciting to see that word for the first time.
But it is not really the first time anymore,
And not really true now,
Because now, it can only shine from a computer screen
In the comfort of a small, dusty room.
Fresh and green eyes watching a video of a broadcast that took place
And decades ago,
Enjoying it as people did then,
But not quite in the same way.
The video does not last forever.
This is well known.
Eventually, it will end.
The music will stop and
The applause will come
And those jazz players in sleek black and white
Will wander off the screen.
What happened to them?
Are they here anymore?
Fear builds seeing the time on the video running out,
Inching closer and closer to the finish line.
The idea of the video going black, of the music vanishing forever,
Fills the air with dread,
Just as the sound of all those instruments clamoring together fills a living body.
It can’t be helped.
Grabbing the film by the tail and yank it back like a stubborn cow
So it can replay from the beginning.
Relief! So much time left is again.
It doesn’t have to disappear just yet.
It can last a little bit longer
This broadcast, these people beaded with sweat and passion, this wonderful music,
Live in Belgium, 1964.