by Darryl Price
I am coming in like a blackbird. Like I'm going
to tickle your mud. I am coming in carrying a
half-sunk message backward. Is that your lovely answer? I am
coming in to sweep for all saints. Course I didn't
just wake up with that feeling. I am coming in
like yellow daffodils. I am coming in because I was
thrown into a ditch. Again I am coming in drunk
as dust. I am coming in for nothing and naked
at last. I am coming in with swirling feathers punched
out but will you ever lift a hand for forgiveness?
Coming in screaming like birch tree branches still burning
from a huge blast of milky snow. No one knows why.
We go to the circus
to walk a thin cracked line.
Not to climb a hill. We
go to the moon to raise
a drowning man's fist to
the seeds of loneliness
but still sleep alone. We
go to the deep market
to ache and wish for a
little love then as now.
We go to the garden
to outrun God's silent
train together as one.
Then we hammer home the fruit.
I don't have time to meet your demands. This poem
is the only money I have left that shines. I don't
have the time to find myself. This poem has happened.
Don't have time to express my love. This poem could
have been worse. I don't have time to understand the spinning
night sky. This poem is asleep in your soul like
any silence. Don't have time to unwind all the lights
as they happen to appear. I don't have time for
one more cup. This poem is the last hand. This
poem wants what it wants out of your spread-out prose.
I Don't Know(a first draft)
what you could want from me
that won't end up hurting
you. Hours later I can
still find your body in
the air as if you were
folded up in my hands
like a big warm towel.
The urgent weight of your
cold feet alone is pressed
all around me like the
sudden urge to drown in
a hole in the soft day's
I'm afraid it's what you seem to
do best. You turn us all into
a strange swirling
I'd much rather
have you laugh at me. I
know for instance your teeth
are somewhat bad but they're
original. The same could be
said about your flour sack of a heart.
Or your loosely tattooed on
dress. These things make a life
come into view like a blown up
splattered creature. But I
continue to feel like
humming you in my mind.
Like reaching for your hair
with just a couple of straightened
fingers. Like I'm running
away but somehow still
arriving back in front
of you at the faintest false stops to looping starts.
All rights reserved.
Sometimes I want to write in complete freedom, so as not to be bored, or boring, as if all poetry were wild, as if all poets were charmed with a mind full of mad invention, as if a poet could only work the truth if he or she completely abandons every known notion about what makes a poem work. I've been known to sputter and make something of a mess out of my words, but here I am letting these words finally just speak for themselves.