Highway of Existence (a poem)

my body, dissolved in acid

is a fitting way for life’s end

terminate the contract of

my earthly stay

amid the desert landscape

if you must

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Book Review: The Dream Songs by John Berryman

Since I’ve been writing more poetry, I’ve been reading more poetry lately. I’ve read some newer stuff, but I’ve also been reading many of the classics, including William Blake, T.S. Eliot, and W.B. Yeats.

I recently read an anthology of 20th century American poetry that was comprehensive regarding the poets it included. One of the poets that struck me the most was John Berryman, and the anthology included poems from his much-celebrated volume called The Dream Songs.

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Pull the Moon Down (a poem)

shoot this arrow into

the starry night sky

& pull the moon down

it’s pale & useless

it offends my sensibilities –

i want death-sleep &

complete darkness

(Photo by Wai Siew on Unsplash)

Dead Garden (a poem)

watching from the fire escape

I breathe in daylight, fresh air

a blue jay lands in a dead garden

her colors brilliant & offensive

dried leaves rustling like

fading nightmares

an urge to suck in colors before me

& vomit them back out

like the Destroyer God who

crushes galaxies in his hands

(Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash)

Cold Cemeteries (a poem)

the only freedom I want

is to break my ego’s chains

which confine me in cold cemeteries

to the dead,

who rise each night & breathe fire

only I can see,

who speak in a language

only I can understand,

telling me with certitude

I’ll join them soon

& also haunt the living

(Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash)

The Eve of the Funeral (a poem)

On the eve of the funeral, there was a knot in my stomach –

his death was so sudden

a Friday night phone call + he’s gone forever

I felt panic, a wave of grief that threatened to demolish me

my sister stepped into the summer night + screamed

a primal shout that began long years of healing.

(Photo by Richard Burlton on Unsplash)

When Democracy Died (a poem)

When democracy died, I was reading Kafka –

gunshots blared + factions fought for ideals

they thought worth dying for –

TVs tuned to Washington +

the White House went dark,

troops marched + destroyed dissidents.

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Sainthood (a poem)

What happened to the woman who

was nearly stoned to death?

Jesus said to not sin again,

but if she’s like me, she was

back in sweaty sheets later that day,

engaged in sinful acts – it’s a fact that

we’re far from saints + sainthood is

a hatred of humanity

but Jesus was half-God,

so it’s not so odd to believe

He died for me + whether I sin today

or tomorrow doesn’t matter much

because grace is free

(Photo by Laura Allen on Unsplash)