Romance

My new poem Romance can be found in the charity anthology Essential from UWA. Scroll down to read it, and then please consider picking up a copy to support independent bookstores, an essential part of our communities, for $10 on Amazon.

Written by 55 creatives during the covid-19 pandemic, this anthology of poetry and micro fiction was created to raise money for independent bookstores during the economic crisis caused by the novel virus. It includes the work of writers from around the world that range in experience from one poet’s first time publication, to a poet laureate’s latest.  Every bit of it has been deemed essential.

X Days Since the Gym Membership Lapsed

how much is in a number is an aggrandized revelation, it’s something but it’s not much.
to sit with that number imagined as weights,
each day a disc sliding off the end of the bar that’s slipped from the rack and pinned you,
slowly relieving the pressure on your chest with each calendar tick,
there’s another injury to be made in fighting that bar off, better to sit and rest
and say nothing when there’s nothing productive or positive to be said.
an action taken to hide deceit is louder than crashing barbells anyway.
weightlifting is one thing, animosity is another.

how much is in a number is not nearly as much the second go around either, despite face value,
maybe that’s what’s made easier this recovery period,
a callus is formed to protect the body from the next drop and
my skin is already pretty thick but anyone who’s split a callus knows
it still stings.
it’s worse when you trusted the spotter to have your back,
but it’s nothing special to be another statistic
for everyone in these Nikes to be the routine problem
seems like a revelation of a common denominator, I’d suppose that’s something.

I have practiced strict discipline to not look toward that gymnasium since the new year’s start,
an opposite to the standard resolution. Though it feels quite resolved to me.

November Blues

I’m drunk in Boston thinking about you.
Folks up this area seem to think the world may end soon but hey, I’m still here.
Still wondering where or if we could have been,
still considering ways I could have handled the situation
a little better.
That’s all I’ve ever aimed for,
and it seems to echo through everything I do,
cling to the fringes of everything I lose,
memories littered with could and should and you.
This bar smells like burnt cherry cough drops, my glass is sweaty,
and the cheap promo coasters are well overdue for replacement.
There is a woman screaming at the television,
a man screaming on it,
a pint was just dropped behind the counter,
and despite every distraction my mind
drags me back to your absence.
I can’t explain it.
Smoke is creeping in between leaky stain glass panes,
crawling out from the begrudging lungs
of civic duty chauvinists guarding the stoop,
into the pub and settling around my ankles.
It makes my skin itch.
All of it.

 

Dedicated to Bernie.

 

I In Lieu

Sometimes I clench my jaw at night
grind my teeth
unconscious to the swimmers and poachers, the entitled or deeply mislead
let my body take the fall
rest

 

Sometimes the frogs don’t sing at night
police sirens wail
bodies hit pavement the way chicken breasts smack cutting boards
season with pepper to taste
mourn

 

Sometimes I wander the streets at night
hug street lamps
they cut down 49 trees outside my office this spring, all healthy
window watch with impuissant unease
hope