Cathy's Song

by Darryl Price

The snap of a broken heart is exactly

One second longer than this poem is going

To take when it finishes up. The snap

Of a broken heart is like anything that

Cartwheels out of sync with the rest of

Us truly lucky ones. The broken snap of a 

Heart will echo around the room like a

Dying rock kicked or tossed aside without regret.


The snap of a broken heart is like

A tree branch during a thunderstorm, it no

Longer fits any window. The snap of a

Broken heart is the thorax of a butterfly

Under the thumb of a clumsy, chubby child,

It cannot repair itself after that much heavy

Lifting, and never will again. The snap of

A broken heart is the spilling of coconut


Milk from the moon's own torn apart bosom.

The snap of a broken heart is the

Sensational car crash of the new last century.

The snap of a broken heart is the

Blunt sound of dirt hitting the blade of

A monster machine, looking and never finding a

Snug fitting soul to encapsulate. The snap of

A broken heart is the scream of a


Barely concealed root cut in half without a

Worm's reconstituting wit about it. The snap of 

A broken heart is nobody's secret fortress any

Longer. The snap of a broken heart means

Only one thing, you are no more a

Possible painting, only the forgotten smashed easel, your

Colors will never mix into new meanings again,

They've blown their alphabetical statement into struck glass. 

We're Not A Balloon Animal

by Darryl Price

 "I have whole days where I feel like the ghost of a child."--Richard Brautigan

This cage's a heavy pair of binoculars. It brings trees close, but not close enough

so you can reach out and touch bark with your bare fingers, which is all

you want to do. That's its stupid ruse. Oh, you'll have clouds I suppose floating

momentarily within your grasp, but they too soon tire of your vain attempts to make

morning mean something more than going through fixed motives.


You alone are opening the door, presenting the last challenge to escape all luxury for

unhinged freedom, to leave things moored where they are, solid, unfeeling, petrified, for nothingness, a

skipping breeze, as dangerous as a beacon of undulating sunlight in the far forest. A

man cannot be faint on either occasion. Otherwise he will be always faded to memory,

flickering once like a snapping ember and then no more. This cage is a well.


The walls are hard to climb. This cage is pure nonsense. It tricks you into

a pale laughter you don't really mean to sign for. You end up chasing moons that

don't exist except in shadows. You alone throw open the molecules of air and demand

that one breathe something else, something thrilling, something wicked and strange, better than carpets and

books, better than lamps and pipes, more like ancient busy dragonfly ponds and wild buttery


fields of daisies, miles of thick grasses and insect societies, flying seeds like kites. This

cage does not turn, its bars will not bend. Does not hum or twinkle, it

clanks.  Inside it you sit and sit some more until you are a master of

sitting. You alone put your finger under my feet and lift me out of my

own way, you alone are the key that fits, you alone smile and mean it.

Bonus poem:

I want to invent this


moment with you like a can-opener and an orange. I

want to invent this moment with you like a secretly photographed  discovery

made by a hotel detective. Like a snail under a flower sheaf

that may or may not be an emissary from another


earth. I want to invest this moment with you like

a poet in a barely furnished room with no air-conditioning to speak of

writing feverishly on a saved napkin with a no. 2 pencil that breaks.

I want to increase this moment like a mad child


who can see and hear prehistoric things that no adult

would ever believe in. Like a bat flying into your room

late at night and then somersaulting out into the bottomless darkness

again just as quickly as it came. I want to


intend this moment with you like a cat's cradle made

sticky from red licorice laces. I want to invent this moment

like a whistle through a crack in a bell. Like

a faraway song played by a faraway faun on a


lovely lonely hillside inside your dreaming brain. I want to invent

this moment like a star gliding up and down on

a sleeping chest of deep blue water. I want to

invent this moment like pop-up fireflies. Like lust in June air.