prose poem: results 1–24 of 102
As death is the wages of sin it is due to me; as death is the end of sickness it belongs to me; and though so disobedient a servant as I may be afraid to die, yet to so merciful a master as thou I cannot be afraid to come; and therefore into thy hands, O my God, I commend my spirit…
My God, my God, is this one of thy ways of drawing light out of darkness, to make him for whom this bell tolls, now in this dimness of his sight, to become a superintendent, an overseer, a bishop, to as many as hear his voice in this bell, and to give us a confirmation in this action?
Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.
A man spent time at the bottom of a vase. "Arrange me, please," he heard the air around him say. The man knew he should have a plan but he had none. One day he noticed a fly outside. It bumped its big slimy eye on the glass.
I drove my truck across groomed Texas to an enormous crucifix, the biggest one in the nation. I was alien, terrified. I'd gone there with a purpose but arrived to find the place barren. A cop drove by. I turned back on to the highway.
Lying on the floor of the place we'd just moved to in Portland—B. and I—listening to CDs, there was nothing there but the two of us, and the music.
1) Darkness (So lately I have these visions — the sky at a hover by the off-ramp, steam percolating off the half-thawed river like something vaguely of the body, threaded with frost, hibernatory and beating)
2) Hair Loss (and so all she wants is a cold one and maybe a booth with a view of the local scene but then there's this strung-out looking, mullet-headed guy out of nowhere and suddenly she's in this white van, okay, it's like something straight of out "Silence of the Lambs" and the lack of light is already making her skin do weird things, breaking out like crazy…)
3) Tenderness (the way the body reveals its single, herbaceous intent)
The hero in this story was never born. If you never say never, you can't ever say nevermind. Say this is the beginning. Say this is the end. Say your princess is in another castle. Say the castle is made of sand.
Who are you? Tinkerer or whistler? Whisperer or pickpocketer? Specter or wren? If a riddle, then answer in static trapped in antennas or flash powder dissuading children away from the dark. If not, when weather registers music in our bones, then answer with glass antlers shattering or stars carved of paraffin. Once, I dreamed of paper targets of a prey rare or fleet enough to make me turn away the gun.
you've use that old cane you found for another purpose: you whittle the hand rest to look like a branch: with a discarded knife: you carve patterns into the rod: running your fingers over the carvings: they feel like ancient meaning: you place that fragment of shell: on an ornate string: attaching it to the hand rest: so it will dangle and hang: catch the breeze and spiral: a dowsing medallion: a cursor: to what?
you show up with pockets full of water: but what everyone notices is your large ears: someone whispers donkey: and gets the reply you mean like in Midsummer's Night Dream?: so what if you are different: you resent people jumping to conclusions…
Along the grassy creek-bank—upstream a beaver's dam, cobbled rust black limbs—all fragrance sunk deep in brown. The mud spattered turtle inches, and down in the slow bubble, the glass black and pebble, an eye—a cold February eye. It shimmers there, blinks; I am the frog song, the shrill whine of insects—
One mother used to boil orange rinds in sugar for hours to form a leathered candy. When her daughter was released from Dachau, she vowed no tears. Then the soldier tore the skin of an orange. Today, I read in the Encyclopedia of Birthdays that orange is a calming color for those born in April. I can't paint my walls this spring without picturing a mother boiling sweets for silenced tongues. I place my compositions in the corner. People think it isn't risky to be a satellite. My god, what I've never seen.
If there is something to be devoured, there is something to be devoured, this taste of whatever it is that makes things taste, the touching of tongues and the speaking of tongues in various languages, words that I have never heard, meanings that can never be parceled from the letters formed, these looping curves, these straight angles, up and to the left like angels circling above like buzzards, like vultures, all things holy and good…
I'm carrying a black baby inside a white baby inside a floral blouse that serves as dress. I'm looking at a television through a shop window through which, by reflection, I see a floral blouse.
Will a boy wake in the night and hear his way out of the dark room into a dark hall, past a painting of a pear too dim to see, like the picture of a sea horse inside a closed book. When he hears his feet on the carpet, will there be carpet? When he hears his father roll over in bed, will his father roll over? What about sleet tapping the window? Will his ears create the snowplow shaking snow from a bush? Or does the plow rev itself into engine?
It is evening and the dark climbs through the window, sits down beside us on the couch, demands the remote control. We curl our legs together, socks to socks, my hand pressed on your lower belly. "What if you suddenly stopped breathing," I say, imagining your death, the funeral, the useless black shoes. I smile, bury my nose in your dirty dark hair.
Below the ice, frozen air, hibernating frogs. My cheeks alive with the burn, my ears. I wanted to touch air, awaken the frogs from their sleep. A bitter cracking sound. From the bottom of the pond, I called to you.
By the time I finished writing, you had disappeared inside me. An absence bounded by the imagined shape of your skin. The body only token of the thought that creates it, yet I counted years by those touches, those bruised moments of light. Plankton sparking in the suffocating cold. I opened the ocean's windows against the lateness of night up there…
Descendant of Puritans, packing tape vouchsafes little intelligence of its overseas journeys. In the desk drawer it's mum,
set to do the job. As my father asks no questions of his breakfast: "It fills the stomach."
Prepare to bind mightily the flaps of your box. (Inside, some fragile thing afloat in shredded paper.)
Pull one off the track and you'll see: getting it back into the fridge is like pushing a wheelchair uphill in a stiff wind. We had eleven refrigerators in eleven houses in eleven cities. Now we have only their crispers, shaming us with bits of our old rind.
After she left, I found the Collins glass of table wine on the windowsill. It counterweighed the nightbird's absence. After she left the second time, I lit a candle in our churchyard…
it is 7:30 am on the 4 train to the bronx we are heading fast uptown doors swinging rough out from their sockets rush of burnside fordham road kingsbridge terrace old armory dirt and trash mark the concrete below me rip of train i sit next to a woman with the number nine on her chest sprawling her breasts stretched her baby sleeps below sound
Growing wild and rank, out in the grass. They asked me to bend down on my knees and rip the dandelions out with my teeth. Not just me. The group of us. Bend down, they said. Your teeth, they said.
Then the sky is not in your clouds. And if the wings are not firmly attached to the mind and the armrest grown restless, recline. When the blue-suited voice of reason asks if you want the whole can and ice with that and not if you'd like her back, you can see how nothing is securely fastened.