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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Old poem "The Vices", found while cleaning up my office

I was in my office a couple of days ago, letting my mind chew on some ideas I'm working on as I edit Universo Responsoriis. While cleaning, I decided it was time to go through a pile of old CD-R and CD-RW discs that were cluttering up several shelves in the closet, and in so doing came across a few poems that I wrote in the late 90s. During this time, I was suffering from an as-yet undiagnosed dysthymic disorder (a form of depression), and some of that emanates through the themes of many of them, this one included. It was my first (and as yet, only) attempt at something resembling a beat poem.

This poem is not in my chapbook Hooray for Pain!, but it will be in an upcoming second book of poetry.

The Vices

Walls dripping with memory, the places we inhabit breathe
an air of sureness, remembering the things we fight to forget
and flee from for fortune knows no nose can safely smell
sense: seize the carpe diem day from the past of ashes and dust
and diamonds and rust reminders all the visible wall is only a memory
stained by the past.

Roofs radiating reality, the shingles that cover us heave
chortling at the profundity of promises we make to those who abet
us in our white oval altar worship—exhortations we know will impel
our hell of reflexively cramping muscle cell movements which must
cover our besotted pleas for some signal of acceptable expiatory
offering better than the last.

Linens crumpled and cursed, curled into the chasm we cleave
with our long-forgotten oaths to keep forever apart the sweat
and stains of heated exchange from the sight of those who foretell
doom—a devoutly wished consummation dripping from lips we trust
to tease the tortured twistings of youth and history we know a prioriwill not deliver rings of brass.

Rings of steel, fire and stone surround our thoughts as we leave
worlds of dropped calls and mirrored walls straining to hear yet
always near to the heart of our lives where sirens scream and partners yell
and mothers cry and fortunes fall to pieces in gathering gloom just
beyond the thinly veiled veil of stoppage where gathered friends sing glory
to our day, now in granite cast.

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