Certainty of Idle Fingers

The slate is clear, the words unspoken,
the brush lay calm, the clay unbroken.
No great work to sate ambition
forms free of labor or volition.

Naught is here but paper’s promise,
wrought in absence, base and lawless.
The brush lifts briefly, stops and lingers,
then drifts away on idle fingers.

What critique can now take purchase –
where no words dwell – and quell no purpose?
What thin crack can thwart protections,
of vaporous art, of void perfections?

The stage sits dark, the choir scattered,
the pianos silent, the curtains tattered.
Yet we remain, unawed, unblamed,
in squalid silence, none acclaimed.

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(observance) National Poetry Month Day 30

The maggots must remember
her smile for its warmth
or the unreal stillness of hands
accustomed to trembling;
perhaps they noticed
the tan pantsuit she wore to rest
(a choice only she
could have made), or the
fine coiffing of her hair,
somehow regal despite
the thinness of the strands;
or the parchment-white of her
eyelids, the lips flattened
to a serious line, the blush of
faint finality across her cheeks.
Surely,
the maggots must remember.

Killing Time (National Poetry Month Day 29)

Tear down the hour from the wall
drag It through the streets and cudgel
It unmercifully. Splay Its hands across
the cobbles and smash the minutes
from the fingers. Bind It to the post and
lash It ’til the seconds bleed and stain
the street like crimson pointillism.
Douse Its face in ruddy oil and
strike a spark to burn through
midnight. The dawn will witness
your ashen fingers. Do whatever horror must
be done, but strike this Hour
from my life.

old routines (National Poetry Month Day 28)

I woke up from a dream of you
To see you as you really seem
Two big eyes and little else-
Tolerance grown from routine
And now it’s over

Now my head is empty
And my heart is full
And in my hands squirms
A birth-slick
Hate for us.

There’s blood on my mouth
And foam in my brain
The words caught between my teeth
Spilling down the drain
And now it’s over.

National Poetry Month Day 27

The viper has pride in his venom
The lioness admires her claws
The hawk shrieks delight as she’s diving;
In silence we dwell on our flaws.

The bee knows his lot is to gather
The fox sees the world as a game
The vulture is cruel but needed;
In darkness we’ve all lost our aim.

The flower brightens the furrows
The goldfinch sweetens the air
The spiders are spinning quite softly;
In stillness we dream
if we dare.

Bundled Sparks (National Poetry Month Day 26)

I.
He reached into the cosmos,
pulled apart the nebulae like
crackling vertebrae and
took them to his forge.

II.
In the heat of stars
he hammered on
the brain, twisted
chaos into neurons
and welded shut the skull
with a piece of himself inside.

III.
Walking through the park,
a pain behind your ear
burns away the city;
you never see again.

IV.
Alone in darkness with
all the stars of the cosmos
sparking inside you,
slowly dying.