A Sharp Digression

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Spike

Plant a tree of glass and iron and burnt stone.

Drive it deep, a spike in the heart of the matter.

Make your stand, keep your counsel.

Drive it deep.

 

Let the world

and the heavens

and all the delights of creation

whirl around it.

 

Whirl around you.

 

Whirl away.

 

Wait a way.

 

Wait for the end of the world, a spike in the heart of the matter.

A spike in the end of the world.

A Seasonal Digression

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Springtime

Springtime lurks in my stairwell

Like unclaimed mail.

I know it is there.

I ignore it.

It taps its fist against its leg

While looking through the mailboxes.

Impatient.

I know it can’t be avoided much longer.

It still bides its time,

but it lays in wait,

whispering of the stench of flowers and warming vistas.

It knows I know the truth.

The dirty little secret behind its vaunted miracle.

That for something to be reborn

Something else must die.

Something must always dies.

A Missing Digression

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Feel

I feel it’s lack. A vague disquiet. An echoing discordant silence.

I tell myself time turns.

I tell myself tides roll.

I tell myself things evolve.

 

I feel it’s coming and going. Drama and madness. Passionate complications.

I tell myself I am well rid of it.

I tell myself I am grown beyond.

I tell myself I had traded in illusions.

 

I feel it’s thundering heartbeat. Striving and changing. Rearing up through ashen stone.

I tell myself to watch the moon.

I tell myself to count to ten.

I tell myself to accept mercy.

 

I tell myself I feel fine as I am.

 

I know I don’t believe myself.

I know I lie.

 

I know I really feel nothing.

A Reflective Digression

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Twilights

A year of shattered twilights

Words of strange intent echo back, lyrics out of time and mind

Regrets hang low behind me, like overripe fruit, marking wrong roads.

 

A year of shattered twilights

Cannibal memories lurk ahead in ancient sentences spoken by no one.

Recast and rephrase, running for the edge, any edge.

 

A year of shattered twilights

Sliding down, set like a stone on a final shelf.

Set like a final stone.

A Mosaic Digression

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Stone

I stand with the law heavy in my arms as stone while around us the night birds swarm the dying of the light.

I watch the stone faces in the sweltering heat, hear the words intoned like living beasts of prey.

Mine eyes dazzle.

In ages past they wished sacrifice, they wished singularity, they wished a king.

What do they wish now? Each stone God gave them.

What will they be given now?

When Moses stood thus did he too debate whether to cast the stone law down, or himself?

A Candlelit Digression

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Candles

At the edge…

The nights grow darker, the moment colder.

The choices grow grayer, the silence deeper.

The dreams grow paler, the doubt stronger.

 

Shadow.

 

We kneel at the edge of shadow, cherubs and gargoyles,

Lighting matches and casting them down like the morningstar.

Watching them fall, fall, fall.

 

Some burn our fingers, guttering in spite.

Others drift beyond the horizon, sad and distant.

Others flare strong, then fade into smoking regret.

 

A precious few light candles, floating in the black.

Strong and constant, flaming defiantly against fate.

 

That is all we hope for, all we hope to be…

 

Candles.

 

Candles, floating in the black.

Father’s Day Digression

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Kaddish

Trapped in the myth of chromosomes, dancing in silent doubt as he considers American fathers.

I watch the look in his eye, seeing it form like frost on glass.

I taste the question on his tongue, bittersweet like blood.

No time.

There was never any time.

I slam myself up against the truth, frantic, screaming for an answer.

Too late, so soon, he breaks the silence.

“Why don’t you say kaddish?”

 

All the time in the world.

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