Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The RIb Cage of the Creature

—Photos by Katy Brown, Davis, CA
—Poems by JD DeHart, Chattanooga, TN

Here is a Simple Test

you can administer any time you like.
Just add water, then vinegar.
Drop in a dash of pepper.
Now measure your sense of growing
impending doom.
Now compare that to a friend.
Ask them how they feel about the end
of the world.  Are they making plans?
Have they written anything down?
Some cultures don’t.  It’s like putting
your head in the sand.  It’s like pretending
you don’t have a head, that there is no
sand, that sand is not a thing.
Sand is a thing.  I have seen it.  I pick it out
of my clothing at the beach.
The beach is also a thing.  Here is a simple
test.  See how many people you trust.
Is that number dwindling?  Welcome to the
club, baby girl.



A playful sense
of insane energy, electric
connection, like kissing
an open flame,
hair standing on end
from the open socket,
threatening and soothing
comforting and unsettling
in the same buoyant
kinetic moment.



These waters are choppy,
these waters are harsh,
like slush was given the ability
to stand up and walk around,
a soup that impedes motion.
Wind rushes by, distorting vision,
throwing balance out of its delicate
kilter, wiping away identity.
All balance is delicate.
When I started, there was a beacon
light, I am only now just beginning to
see it again, throbbing through a veil.

 Old Window


See how the ballerina,
poised, raises one leg,
crushing existence.

See how the world turns
on its axis slightly before
slipping into the sea.

Notice how the talk
began covered with kindness
as a fabrication, then became
a loathsome denigration.

Walk the balance beam.
Don't look down too often.



I was in a choir once,
not a performer, not a singer.
Struggling to find my true
adult voice.

I sat listening to people sing
around me.  When it was finally
time to try, I was ‘way too deep
because I thought you were supposed
to sing in your range.
I did not really know what a range was.

I spent weeks singing and trying to lift
pianos because the director
thought that helped improve the
diaphragm.  I listened as we worked
for a miraculous tenor that never
seemed to take hold.

Even today, every song I try to represent
exists in a low rumble.

 Bicycle Parts


It is quite something indeed
to realize that all points
of life offer some
semblance of disillusionment

If you expect the ceiling
to be so high, people to putter
around kindly, and every
object to be made of marble.



Turn again
on the side that isn’t so
sore.  Restless.  Yearn,

Outside, the neighbors
are all silent in their caves,
inside the light is flickering,
must keep it down.
Must keep it down.

I work through the discourse
in my mind.  I work through
the day in my mind.
There is hardly any day left
untouched by the end of
the night.

My fingers are tired, but
the steady-moving stream of traffic
drags me on.

 No Left Turn


Out of fine ash bones
I build a new world.
This is the rib cage of the creature,
an ancient story.
Adam, apple, Eve, tree,
and serpent.
Where did we come from?
I heard that 75% of what makes
us human is shared by all
with some minor variations.
Rising out of an obscured
past, a hidden continent, we
roamed, loved, fought,
and conquered.  Forging new
features out of old memories,
telling the same story over
and over until it beat in our
hearts and ran through our
veins.  Until it became us,
we became it, woven into
our shared narrative.



Yes, it’s nice to become
acquainted with sound
and reason of other beings,
makes one feel like one belongs
to an invisible club—
the lines were always drawn,
but it’s helpful to know they
were not imagined.
It's remedy for the sanity.

Finally nice to know what is
meant by all these chuckles,
to get the inside joke,
to speak the vernacular, try
it on like a glove on the tongue.
Practicing in the mirror
three times this morning alone.

There now, doesn’t that feel better,
or does it make matters worse,
now with a heavy mouth?


Today’s LittleNip:

—JD DeHart

Here I sit at the spinning
center of the universe.
Well, it's just a room.

Conversations go on all
around me, but I sit listening
to my mind.  Wondering.

I am the spoke in this wheel,
except I really don't think
I turn much of anything here.


—Medusa, with thanks to JD DeHart today for his fine selection of poems, and to Katy Brown for her fine visuals!

 —Celebrate poetry!

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.