Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Prufrock and his Peach

JD DeHart
—Poems by JD DeHart, Chattanooga, TN


Another euphemism for death,
another polite manner of skirting
the edge of meaning.
Another dance on the delicate blade
of semantics.
Makes you wonder why we do this to ourselves.
Like Prufrock eating his peach, we ask,
“Do we dare to offend with a word?”
Words, being so small and weightless,
lifted from the tongue ten thousand times
easier than a feather,
more of an involuntary reflex than a
Herculean effort.
Where did we drop the spark of connotation,
for we cannot see beyond the blackened
sudden curled mass that was the floor.



Late 1990’s news
and music played
when the tree smashed
into us,

sending sparkling bits
of glass like a scattering
of stars,
a eruption of fear
then cold waiting
for the matter to be
settled and filed.

—Photo by JD DeHart 


Everyone has their differences, including
The couple shuffling down the street.
Walls of illumination surround them
so that it is a wonder they cannot see.
Walls of perspiring masses have clustered,
there is a building that appears to be made
out of gold where business suits make
transactions, where plans are spread across
flow charts.
It is clear the couple lives here, but are
averse to the living.  Breathing, yet choking
on their own oxygen.
Speaking in dull rhythms, moving slowly,
and yet running away.



They are natural with their birthing,
their painful and prolonged raison d’être.
You are made for this, their mothers told them,
buying little booties and ornate trams.
Everyone can hear their screaming
from down the hall.
Where are the unkind and stubborn men
who put them in this position?
Was it lacy love, a blurry mistake,
or an action less noble?
Where are the kind doctors when the nurse
arrives with her choking ether?
They are all part of the fairy tale
until the parturition begins.


Poor pages have been torn
by our machine of critique

rendered useless and void
by murderous voices
gathered around a conference
table, fluttering through

planning their poison words,
perched at each falling line.



As a child, I found tunnels
where I wanted to,
crawling into secret places

sitting beneath the brass
and glass table in the corner,
enjoying my hiding spot

I still tuck myself away
but the locations
are not as obvious now.



Let’s see that
movement again
and listen once more
to a crescendo of voices
bringing us to seated motion
see how we jump from our seat
hear us as we join the swift cacophony
as if struck by creative lightning
as if we are made living new
as if we are stepping again
crackling and sparking
laughing and being
recovering self.


Today’s LittleNip:


Beginning of being
reference to self or

Setting up a comparison
linking thoughts
to create a balance
of wily syntax

A great linguistic
equals sign.


Our thanks and welcome back to JD DeHart from Tennessee, and a note that these poems first appeared in
The Stockholm Review of Literature (  JD is a writer and teacher who was featured on Medusa’s Kitchen on Oct. 7, 2015.  His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available from RedDashboard Publishing ( Welcome back to the Kitchen table, JD!



 Celebrate poetry tonight by going down to 
Sac. Poetry Center to hear Geoffrey Nutter and 
Crawdad Nelson, 7:30pm. Scroll down to the blue box 
(under the green box at the right) for info about this 
and other upcoming readings in our area—
and note that more may be added at the last minute.

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.