APotent Brew: Inspired by Jack Kerouac
Turn over the waste basket of any fierce, struggling writer
whose haggard flesh hangs loosely from knotted bones,
one who moons at waning night with frustrated eyes,
dig deep into curled and fisted papers lying there, forlorn
beneath discarded, burnished apple cores
and cigarette butts - there, you shall find poetry simmering
its many-hued fragrances, a potent brew of rejections,
inspirations torridly attended, then tossed as unworthy,
conjectures of disarrayed mathematics gone astray
among sullen smears of ink. You will not find it
in organized classrooms, sworn and shouted
from pompous pulpits of lecture halls,
or even in a small, dusty library
whose shelves have retained the ghosts
of more musty tomes lost, rather than saved, for posterity's sake,
being limited by inadequate budgets and cautioned purchases
barely approved by a status quo board -
you will find poetry waiting patiently, trying to hitch a ride
from non-existent cars along a cracked, unused road
where once travelers swept by, on their way
to something better, something brighter, something bolder
than they ever saw before or could possibly imagine -
snared inside their pallid existences,
unable to mutter or moan, or even beat their breasts, howling.
The Facade of Mourning: for Anne Sexton
I grow weary of these distinctions
between pale and shadow.
Burgeoning forth like a morose masquerade,
lilies strewn about as sad, dying leaves,
we are no longer immune to silence.
No one hears these murmured words,
not even the rapturous soil.
Fingers point everywhere but backwards,
where they belong. It was our own doing,
this fragmentation we became.
Heave your stones
toward granite headboards, if you must,
but do not diminish my gathering of bouquets
for the still breathing, for the as yet unborn.
They need ferocious petals more than crumbs of earth.
The final damned real estate can wait its turn;
I refuse to sing this lie.