Thursday, April 16, 2015

POEM: "For Good"

For Good

                      “One hundred and fifty thousand people die every day,” he continues. 
                       “And a lot of them have dinner plans.” 
                            Anthony Martin, Escape Artist

                         So, teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 
                              Psalms 90:12

Let us counsel against hating
The strong and clean and good
But admit that blood covers us all
As even sunlight does with its promise
To show us more pain every day

He wouldn’t work in an iron lung or
She's no good, a worthless character
As the literate despair will insist
Because the memory works like that
Against chance and change and sky

We will die because there is no choice
We will write poems because of so much
That might get better if it would only try
Work in an iron lung for nearly nothing
Ignore nothingness until it goes for good.

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Sunday, April 12, 2015

POEM: "Prologue d'un Conte de Fées"

Prologue d'un Conte de Fées

In that blue corner lies an exception
A pretty brief rose and a brief squirrel
But not just any corner of forgotten dust
Never to be found, nor just any squirrel
Bushy-tailed, gleaming eyes, and chewing nuts

Is this a containment of a natural situation?

Ah, but still more a box than a wrecked bed
Though less than a coffin, though much more –
It’s my old collection of lambent red, I speak
Of our years together and all the time it took
To reassemble me, and of the moment she saw it.

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Saturday, April 11, 2015

POEM: "A Cloud Song"

A Cloud Song

                    pace G. Gershwin

I could cry salty tears
bread and wine, roses
for roses, an empty chair
ten thousand got drunk
that never was born
your picture's on the wall
above an unfamiliar bed
where have I been all these years
a cloud beginning to descend
my little wow, tell me how
I won't be seeing you again
how long has this been going on?

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Thursday, April 9, 2015

An Elaine Feinstein Poem

The Medium

My answer would have to be music
which is always deniable, since in my
silence, which you question, is only a landscape
of water, old trees and a few irresolute
birds. The weather is also inconstant.
Sometimes the light is golden, the leaves unseasonable.
And sometimes the ice is red, and the moon
hangs over it, peeled, like a chinese fruit.
I am sorry not to be more articulate.
When I try, the words turn ugly as rats and
disorder everything, I cannot be quiet,
I want so much to be quiet and loving.
If only you wanted that. My sharpest thoughts
wait like assassins always in the dry wheat. They
chat and grin. Perhaps you should talk to them?


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

POEM: "For The Territory"

For The Territory 

Lights out for the Territory 
one day (you know it's coming)
speaking with snakes as he crosses
the riverbank, and shakes the grass
and watches how the horizon moves

Carries a heavy old pack, a G.I. poncho
impermeable enough, and clothes around
a single book that keeps changing its words
the poetry of the world busy in a storm, cars
passing him by, sometimes the driver honks

Direction suggests itself in wind
the wind is directed by hope, which
could have been indicated by love, if it
hadn’t just started to piss down, if he hadn’t
just seen a bolt of lightning explode a tree

After a while he starts laughing hard
with what has to be a certain divinity, gods
just as wet and cold as he is, the Territory
receding and succeeding till the gray sun rises
and when he rounds the bend you’re waiting.

© 2015 Rob Schackne

painting: Mark Rothko, "Blue, Green and Brown"

Monday, April 6, 2015

MUSIC: Peggy Lee, "Is That All There Is?" (1969)

One look at her publicity photo and you'd think that butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. Then you might study her eyes, her nose, her mouth and her chin. Ignore the illusion. Here the great Peggy Lee interprets a Leiber and Stoller song, "If that's all there is, my friends, then let's keep dancing, break out the booze and have a ball..."

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Frank Stanford Poem

Cotton You Lose in the Field

Some bad whiskey
I drink by myself
just like you
when this wind
blows as it does
in the delta
where a lost hearing aid
can be taken
for a grub worm
when the black constellations
make you swim backwards
in circles of blood
stableboys ruin their hands
for a while
and a man none of us
can do without
breaks his neck
jumping over some hill
chasing the fox
of a half-pint
and a fine-blooded horse
is put out of its misery
even the young sisters
of the boys we run with
we would give our fingers
to touch them again
but this war
seeps back into us
little insecticide
and the white cricket of those days
drags itself off the hook
there are no more fish
there is no more bait
the rivers are formed by the tears of sports fans
we try to pour a trail of salt
as if making a long fuse
with a gunpowder keg
we try to swim away from the gym
like slugs with gills
the girls from the other school
step off the bus
the clouds are weighed in at the gin
there is a pattern to all this
like a weave of a skirt
we all go crazy from looking

(ca. 1975)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

POEM: "Over The Mountains, Blow!"

Over The Mountains, Blow!

                                              for Philip Levine                                               

                           "Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it."
                             from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Charlie Parker, Bird, a cautious bird
though he was a man, with a tail of music

It is sixty years away. The updraught here
waiting for more filler, killer of time...

…they later wrote, all that rising passion
a footnote to others,
” wrote Philip Levine

(I wouldn’t feel bad either. A better man than me
walked him up the stairs, pulled off his boots)

That’s the problem. Rise, to hear it magnificent
then come back down, to find you can't play it

Lover Man, where did you go
   high as an Asian goose?

The others bang their pots and pans
to make sure some birds will never land

Certain flights will have nervous captains
and instruments lie at the bottom of the sea

After the Dial recordings and the gigs, Bird 
took his few dollars and didn't fly to NYC

(Probably a more dangerous place to score
but California had sunshine and oranges)

I lay me down, this could be my last one too
I would also have a memory more than a dream

A seagull decides it wanders off the sand
then the road decides it lands in feathers.

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Joanna Klink Poem

Some Feel Rain

Some feel rain. Some feel the beetle startle
in its ghost-part when the bark
slips. Some feel musk. Asleep against
each other in the whiskey dark, scarcely there.
When it falls apart, some feel the moondark air
drop its motes to the patch-thick slopes of
snow. Tiny blinkings of ice from the oak,
a boot-beat that comes and goes, the line of prayer
you can follow from the dusking wind to the snowy owl
it carries. Some feel sunlight
well up in blood-vessels below the skin
and wish there had been less to lose.
Knowing how it could have been, pale maples
drowsing like a second sleep above our temperaments.
Do I imagine there is any place so safe it can't be
snapped? Some feel the rivers shift,
blue veins through soil, as if the smokestacks were a long
dream of exhalation. The lynx lets its paws
skim the ground in snow and showers.
The wildflowers scatter in warm tints until
the second they are plucked. You can wait
to scrape the ankle-burrs, you can wait until Mercury
the early star underdraws the night and its blackest
districts. And wonder. Why others feel
through coal-thick night that deeply colored garnet
star. Why sparring and pins are all you have.
Why the earth cannot make its way towards you.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Tomas Transtromer Poem

National Insecurity

The Under Secretary leans forward and draws an X
and her ear-drops dangle like swords of Damocles.

As a mottled butterfly is invisible against the ground
so the demon merges with the opened newspaper.

A helmet worn by no one has taken power.
The mother-turtle flees flying under the water.

(1997) Tr. Robin Fulton

Saturday, March 28, 2015

2 Philip Levine Poems (3)

The Simple Truth

I bought a dollar and a half’s worth of small red
took them home, boiled them in their jackets
and ate them for dinner with a little butter and
Then I walked through the dried fields
on the edge of town. In the middle of June the
hung on in the dark furrows at my feet,
and in the mountain oaks overhead the birds
were gathering for the night, the jays and
squawking back and forth, the finches still darting
into the dusty light. The woman who sold me the
was from Poland; she was someone
out of my childhood in a pink spangled sweater
   and sunglasses
praising the perfection of all her fruits and vegetables
at the road-side stand and urging me to taste
even the pale, raw sweet corn trucked all the way,
she swore, from New Jersey. “Eat, eat," she said,
   “Even if you don’t I’ll say you did.”
                                      Some things
you know all your life. They are so simple and
they must be said without elegance, meter and
they must be laid on the table beside the
the glass of water, the absence of light gathering
in the shadows of picture frames, they must be
naked and alone, they must stand for
My friend Henri and I arrived at this together in
before I went away, before he began to kill
and the two of us betray our love. Can you taste
what I’m saying? It is onions and potatoes, a
of simple salt, the wealth of melting butter, it is
it stays in the back of your throat like a truth
you never uttered because the time was always
it stays there for the rest of your life, unspoken,
made of that dirt we call earth, the metal we call
in a form we have no words for, and you live in it.


A Philip Levine Poem

Call It Music

Some days I catch a rhythm, almost a song
in my own breath. I’m alone here
in Brooklyn, it’s late morning, the sky
above the St. George Hotel is clear, clear
for New York, that is. The radio is playing
Bird Flight. Parker in his California
tragic voice fifty years ago, his faltering
“Lover Man” just before he crashed into chaos.
I would guess that outside the recording studio
in Burbank the sun was high above the jacarandas,
it was late March, the worst of yesterday’s rain
had come and gone, the sky was washed. Bird
could have seen for miles if he’d looked, but what
he saw was so foreign he clenched his eyes,
shook his head, and barked like a dog—just once—
and then Howard McGhee took his arm and assured
he’d be OK. I know this because Howard told me
years later, told me he thought Bird could
lie down in the hotel room they shared, sleep
for an hour or more, and waken as himself.
The perfect sunlight angles into my little room
above Willow Street. I listen to my breath
come and go and try to catch its curious taste,
part milk, part iron, part blood, as it passes
from me into the world. This is not me,
this is automatic, this entering and exiting,
my body’s essential occupation without which
I am a thing. The whole process has a name,
a word I don’t know, an elegant word not
in English or Yiddish or Spanish, a word
that means nothing to me. Howard truly believed
what he said that day when he steered
Parker into a cab and drove the silent miles
beside him while the bright world
unfurled around them: filling stations, stands
of fruits and vegetables, a kiosk selling trinkets
from Mexico and the Philippines. It was all
so actual and Western, it was a new creation
coming into being, like the music of Charlie
someone later called “glad," though that day
I would have said silent, “the silent music
of Charlie Parker.” Howard said nothing.
He paid the driver and helped Bird up two flights
to their room, got his boots off, and went out
to let him sleep as the afternoon entered
the history of darkness. I’m not judging
Howard, he did better than I could have
now or then. Then I was nineteen, working
on the loading docks at Railway Express,
coming day by day into the damaged body
of a man while I sang into the filthy air
the Yiddish drinking songs my Zadie taught me
before his breath failed. Now Howard is gone,
eleven years gone, the sweet voice silenced.
“The subtle bridge between Eldridge and
they later wrote, all that rising passion
a footnote to others, I remember in ‘85
walking the halls of Cass Tech, the high school
where he taught after his performing days,
when suddenly he took my left hand in his
two hands to tell me it all worked out
for the best. Maybe he’d gotten religion,
maybe he knew how little time was left,
maybe that day he was just worn down
by my questions about Parker. To him Bird
was truly Charlie Parker, a man, a silent note
going out forever on the breath of genius
which now I hear soaring above my own breath
as this bright morning fades into afternoon.
Music, I’ll call it music. It’s what we need
as the sun staggers behind the low gray clouds
blowing relentlessly in from the nameless ocean,
the calm and endless one I’ve still to cross.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Carol Ann Duffy Poem


My bones, scripted in light, upon cold soil,
a human braille. My skull, scarred by a crown,
emptied of history. Describe my soul
as incense, votive, vanishing; you own
the same. Grant me the carving of my name.

These relics, bless. Imagine you re-tie
a broken string and on it thread a cross,
the symbol severed from me when I died.
The end of time – an unknown, unfelt loss –
unless the Resurrection of the Dead…

or I once dreamed of this, your future breath
in prayer for me, lost long, forever found;
or sensed you from the backstage of my death,
as kings glimpse shadows on a battleground.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

POEM: "By Charlotte At The Riverside"

By Charlotte At The Riverside

There I was again in the evening air
As though all my rivers kept flowing past
(Maybe I never left the little boat at all)
One half then, a little bit now, one half future
At times there will be someone missing
There's no gentle hand to warm the chills

Even if the old wind carries familiar smells
Later in the autumn breeze, after tying up
My river skiff, after I get out to walk home
(Sun due to set, every tomorrow's coming)
Ghosts I speak with will have such cold breath
They say it once, they'll say it again, half-counsel
Starting, starting over means giving up so much.

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

POEM: "Swing"


I remember the swing
The wind the chain the rattle
The seat the trees and the children
Pumping so far forward to sail back again
Knowing I could jump off at the nearest cloud
Years later and doubt dropped by for a little visit 

I was on another ride, invisible, maybe inside
Knowing how easy it is to be pushed away
Lean too far forward fall back so soon
The seat the trees and the flies
The wind the chain the hills
I remember the swing

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Brenda Shaughnessy Poem

Head Handed

Stop belonging to me so much, face-head.
Leave me to my child and my flowers.

I can't run with you hanging on to me like that.
It's like having ten dogs on a single lead

and no talent for creatures.
No hands, no trees. Not my dogs, nobody's.

Don't you have a place to go, face-head?
Deep into the brick basement of another life?

To kill some time, I mean. That furnace
light could take a shine to you.

There are always places, none of them mine.
And always time—rainbow sugar show

of jimmies falling from ice cream's sky—
but that stuff's extra, it's never in supply.

"Never," however, acres of it. Violet beans
and sarcasm. Too many flavors of it.

All those prodigal particles,
flimsily whimsical miracles, an embarrassment

of glitches. The chorus just more us.
But nowhere bare and slippery have I

got a prayer. If I had two hands
to rub together I wouldn't waste the air.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Carl Sandburg Poem

Still Life

Cool your heels on the rail of an observation car.
Let the engineer open her up for ninety miles an hour.
Take in the prairie right and left, rolling land and new hay crops, 
    swaths of new hay laid in the sun.
A gray village flecks by and the horses hitched in front of the post-office 
    never blink an eye.
A barnyard and fifteen Holstein cows, dabs of white on a black wall 
    map, never blink an eye.
A signalman in a tower, the outpost of Kansas City, keeps his place at a 
    window with the serenity of a bronze statue on a dark night when 
    lovers pass whispering.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

POEM: "Hardly A Poem"

Hardly A Poem

But I love comics for their timing...
It’s a summer day, you’re lying in bed
Your mother walks in, you’re jerking off
With a magazine, and just as you cum
She says something so perfect, so alien
What are you doing to that magazine?

Respect. Poets spend years working on
Their material before they can do that.

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Friday, March 20, 2015

POEM: "For Once"

For Once
                               pace R.L.F.

Over Mr Frost's well-curb
Peering down into the deep
Echoes of the past, for once
Asking are they well-meaning
And only then a flash of white
I believe this is more than truth
More than well-whiskered cloud
But if two worlds why not three?
Your heart's drumming like crazy
Dreams visit, a dizziness comes
Now what you see is what you get
They never thought to warn you.

© 2011 Rob Schackne

Thursday, March 19, 2015

MUSIC: The Cascades, "Rhythm Of The Rain" (1962)

This strange little song, perhaps the perfected model of corniness in pop music, has nevertheless given me a great deal of solace over the years. I don't know why. But maybe you'll know why.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

POEM: "A Dream"

A Dream

Yea, though I dreamt 
I was in a horrid place
Full of terrible words
I could not swim away
Steamy towers, rest in fog
And our concrete mama
Was not self-healing
Later when I woke
I fished and fished
And fished for my soul
And when I caught it
I never gave it away again.

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

PHOTO: Brad Wilson, "A Barn Owl" (2015) / POEM: "Later"


Later, says the
soul. Always later.
Later than time allows.

When the owl sings
in the daytime. I could
tell you about roses.

Let me get dressed.
How the wind comes
off the sea. How the

rain comes later. 
A bottle of wine.
Let me get dressed.
A bottle of wine.
An owl weighs
more than the soul.

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Thylias Moss Poem

Interpretation of a Poem by Frost

A young black girl stopped by the woods,
so young she knew only one man: Jim Crow
but she wasn’t allowed to call him Mister.
The woods were his and she respected his boundaries
even in the absence of fence.
Of course she delighted in the filling up
of his woods, she so accustomed to emptiness,
to being taken at face value.
This face, her face eternally the brown
of declining autumn, watches snow inter the grass,
cling to bark making it seem indecisive
about race preference, a fast-to-melt idealism.
With the grass covered, black and white are the only options,
polarity is the only reality; corners aren’t neutral
but are on edge.
She shakes off snow, defiance wasted
on the limited audience of horse.
The snow does not hypnotize her as it wants to,
as the blond sun does in making too many prefer daylight.
She has promises to keep,
the promise that she bear Jim no bastards,
the promise that she ride the horse only as long
as it is willing to accept riders,
the promise that she bear Jim no bastards,
the promise to her face that it not be mistaken as shadow,
and miles to go, more than the distance from Africa to Andover,
more than the distance from black to white
before she sleeps with Jim.


Friday, March 13, 2015

POEM: "Dust"


Any nut that’s saved
is stored in a hole
with one chance it will 
ever see bright light.
The golden countryside 
is only romantic
to those who never lived 
there in winter.
Today is far from war. 
We fight every day.
Father, the best war 
happens in peace.
A daydream may get 
loose, land in a tree
fighting memory, daylight 
saved from itself
win against win, the 
clock fixed, wound back.

© 2015 Rob Schackne

painting: Luo Zhongli, "Father" (1980)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Tomas Venclova Poem

In the Lake Region

When you open the door, everything falls into place—
the little ferry by the wharf, fir trees and thujas.
An old woman, feeding ducks, seems as old as Leni
Riefenstahl. At the base of the hill, chestnut trees, not yet in full bloom,
are younger—but probably as old as her films.
All is wet and bright. A hedgehog or God-knows-whose-soul
is rummaging in last year's leaves. Dead water and living water
fill the plain. The twins Celsius and Fahrenheit
are predicting spring weather—while a shadow obscures
the past (just like the present). The first serene weeks scour the bridges
in a peaceful corner of Europe between Wannsee and Potsdam—where
much has happened, but, probably, nothing more will.
For days we have been watching a ragged crow—in the garden,
sometimes on the roof. The ancients would have said her
stubbornness augurs something. Emerging from the wood's
depths, she lights on one antenna crossbar
then another, her surface bright as mercury
in a thermometer's glass. But these are fever marks
we are incapable of understanding. The beginning of agony?
The past does not enlighten us—but still, it attempts
to say something. Perhaps the crow knows more about us
and about history's dirt than we do ourselves.
Of what does she want to remind us? Of the black photos, the black headphones
of radio operators, black signatures under documents,
of the unarmed with their frozen pupils—of the prisoner's boot or the trunk
of the refugee? Probably not. We will remember this anyway,
though it won't make us any wiser. The bird signifies only stoicism
and patience. If you ask for them, your request will be granted.

(2008) Tr. Ellen Hinsey

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

An Edgar Allan Poe Poem


Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awakening, till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.
Yes! tho’ that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,
’Twere better than the cold reality
Of waking life, to him whose heart must be,
And hath been still, upon the lovely earth,
A chaos of deep passion, from his birth.
But should it be—that dream eternally
Continuing—as dreams have been to me
In my young boyhood—should it thus be given,
’Twere folly still to hope for higher Heaven.
For I have revell’d when the sun was bright
I’ the summer sky, in dreams of living light,
And loveliness,—have left my very heart
In climes of mine imagining, apart
From mine own home, with beings that have been
Of mine own thought—what more could I have seen?
’Twas once—and only once—and the wild hour
From my remembrance shall not pass—some power
Or spell had bound me—’twas the chilly wind
Came o’er me in the night, and left behind
Its image on my spirit—or the moon
Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon
Too coldly—or the stars—howe’er it was
That dream was as that night-wind—let it pass.

I have been happy, but in a dream.
I have been happy—and I love the theme:
Dreams! in their vivid colouring of life
As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife
Of semblance with reality which brings
To the delirious eye, more lovely things
Of Paradise and Love—and all our own!
Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.


Monday, March 9, 2015

An Edward Thomas Poem


The last light has gone out of the world, except
This moonlight lying on the grass like frost
Beyond the brink of the tall elm’s shadow.
It is as if everything else had slept
Many an age, unforgotten and lost
The men that were, the things done, long ago,
All I have thought; and but the moon and I
Live yet and here stand idle over the grave
Where all is buried. Both have liberty
To dream what we could do if we were free
To do some thing we had desired long,
The moon and I. There’s none less free than who
Does nothing and has nothing else to do,
Being free only for what is not to his mind,
And nothing is to his mind. If every hour
Like this one passing that I have spent among
The wiser others when I have forgot
To wonder whether I was free or not,
Were piled before me, and not lost behind,
And I could take and carry them away
I should be rich; or if I had the power
To wipe out every one and not again
Regret, I should be rich to be so poor.
And yet I still am half in love with pain,
With what is imperfect, with both tears and mirth,
With things that have an end, with life and earth,
And this moon that leaves me dark within the door.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

POEM: "Five Little Poems to Forget"

Five Little Poems to Forget

What is this
suck doesn’t 
really want
another one

The remora
its value is
an added 

sweet delay

Bed is warm
pillow between 
the legs won’t
take a lover

Her occupation
was Chinese
Tibetan time for
something else

Dark faces
vices hidden
only frighten
before dawn

© 2014 Rob Schackne

POEM: "Five Little Poems to Remember"

Five Little Poems to Remember

No form for beauty
anywhere near the end
till I scuffle to get in line

Jeez even mangoes
which are born to be ripe
have Platonic form

Here I dream of bridges
that always lead to the same
places I’ve been before

Young Chinese Neighbor
has a finger up the nose
how perfected the search

Jeans dream of youth
no embarrassment
it's just a small project.

© 2014 Rob Schackne

Friday, March 6, 2015

POEM: "An Ape's Raincoat"

An Ape's Raincoat

I.   Stella Fugio

There are stairs to take
the steps to consider, and all
the slender things we are
stars can wait a little longer
distance must be reached
love is met on the landing
(a demon black cat flashes
past, between our future legs)
we barely recognize each other
one going up the other down
we hardly have time to speak
in platitudes of stairs and star
a bad day ahead of us or behind 

a meeting later, always later.

II.   An Ape's Raincoat

No more going back
it's a playful galaxy
(all majestic dress)
stars are mine and thine and we
their celestial seawrack

Still more vintage wine

upon the leaning trellis
(takes a year to press)
a star gently climbs the stairs
as he waits to hear her sigh

Still more petrichor

on the breasts of a woman
(a star to caress)
who so loves each sleepy rain
her lover listens to her snore

Still more empty shells
that listen on the seashore
(still the seagulls' mess)
to time in its giggling core
pumping stars from distant wells.   

III.   Bashō Was The Snowball

I just wrote a poem
about reaching space
at the speed of light

Three bags full of
cock & steam. I guess
that’s all. Empty shovel

We try remembering
every memory to forget
which ones are special

Enlightened thought
the chance that physics
has always waited for

The possibility exists
somewhere. The translation
looks into a cold mirror

Bashō was the snowball
sharp-shooter of hats. But
that was then. It’s still winter

I’m still writing. So
are you. The next one
comes at the speed of light.

IV.   The Extra Weight

I don’t believe the
writing on the wall

Mixed bird offerings
or that insects wake

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin

Even if the meal is
found wanting is

Counting gematria really
the dessert of wisdom?

My mind's made up
the spring is cleansed

My life is the sum
of all my choices

(at least the choices
that waited for me)

But         the       weight
       extra      but

When birds come closer
when mountaintops are sand

When the scales
are finally settled

How do you return
the angel’s stare?

© 2015 Rob Schackne

painting: Joan Miró, "Une Étoile Caresse Le Sein d'Une Négresse" (1938)

POEM: "To A Future Lover"

To A Future Lover

                                I.M. A. de Saint-Exupéry

The earth was noise and dust
my horse surprised a snake
I walked all night under the stars
the desert was a bank of hums

Dishevelled in this mirage
where desire is unkindled limit
a kiss that didn't even matter
night was an ocean of those days

Way back I stood there then
as fearsome as a pilot waking
to a slow smoke and a brandy
that spoke to him on his last day

Hard grim lines drawn in blood
for a time when laughter’s wrong
to continue in blood until there’s
no more discussion in blood

I'm still walking years later
distraught of many concerns
delinquent of the inconsequential
every animal drawn to its own smell

It hardly mattered what love was
shadows and the sun would not light
each caress or that busy time did not
search for the fine wreckage all about.

© 2015 Rob Schackne