The Art of Poetry
In honor of Alice and Rick Tarkington, with many thanks to Amy Story, Mark May-Beaver and Michael Halad
The Memoir If only this poem could affect you like it does me. Word by word like a puzzle your body starting to transform. Stanzas assembling into limbs. Knobby verses clicking into place like the sharp pop of joints. Letters as pieces interlocking to construct your skin. Feet crafted from titles and text, forming your final image.
The puzzle solved, the final picture shows an apercu of your life, An image commented on by others but not one that will last forever. Like all good things which linger, In which you hold onto a picturesque scene of what you think you have, There comes a time when commas can no longer be the glue that holds the pieces together. When the puzzle is shattered what is left scattered are the pieces children will pick up and place back in the box. These are the scraps of your story, your memoir.
The Night Bugs
Here under the silky moonlight Two young lovers sit, worlds bathed in sparkling bliss Reflections of their hopeful dreams bouncing off the concrete and rearview mirrors Hands holding limply to one another, until they pull away They sit in wait to see what’s next After an evening burdened by nauseating silence and averted glances, Now they slowly start to drift away from the cracked leather seats heated by the Warmth of their bodies into those specks of light. Like night bugs engulfed in the satin blue of evening They fly towards the source of light which Leads their paths. Seeing no warnings signs until it might be too late How beautiful it seems, to be One with the light and filled to the brim With passing moments spent together, looking out the closed windows into the black abyss. They sit Sustained by the breath of the other While suffocated simultaneously by their poisonous exhalations. Not till the light fades and the concrete dims to the shade of shadows past Will they see the rock beneath their ‘everything’ crumble Feet falling away at the hands of another.