Friday, June 02, 2017

Raging With Metaphors

—Poems by JD DeHart, Chattanooga, TN
—Anonymous Visuals


there is bearded me
and skeptic me
and nonchalant me

usually, these all
come out in winter
like a bear

warmer climates
bring reflective me
and shaven me
and in-between me

autumn brings solemn
academic me
reading me

bookish chin-rubbing me


He used to be
mighty and feared, keeping
all in order. Now he sits
on a flower-covered sofa
in a distant aunt’s basement.
There is nothing on television,
yet he finds himself looking.
He has not shaved in weeks.



of course, now we record
them using the variegated
lenses we carry on our person

but I remember a time
when a being could thrash
and shout and the only
evidence was the casual
eyewitness or security cam

I even recall a time when,
to my ultimate Chagrin, I myself
engaged in a small tantrum
and thankfully there was no one
to hold it up like hieroglyphs
on our digital cave wall.


you told us about the crimson
slicker, a tear in your eye

how I wanted to jump back in time, scream to them,

get her the red coat
she wants so much, don’t

you know this is the one
person who means so much

to me.


She used to sit in the corner
rocking in her old-style chair,
an antique they brought in so
she could play her domestic role,
pretending to know how to knit

the results were knotted
chunks of twigs and twine
they, in turn, pretended they might
one day attempt to wear

while she cradled herself
back and forth, the family thought,
My, how tiny

but then she began to flail
her arms one day and burst
the chair into splinters
and revealed her true height.

 The Scream, 1893, by Edvard Munch


She is the screamer who I imagine
standing at the open mouth of a bridge,
figure trying to leave the rest of the world
and all she knows behind her, the sign post
of familiarity dimming in the distance

I imagine the smell of family life
and common voices fading quickly

She is the elongated face and I wish I could
offer a rescue, not because she needs it
but because I need to rescue someone; simply
put, it is my sensitivity, the desire to hold up

a leaking world that is probably more
in a position to help me instead.



he swam upstream
slapping his body against

they called him Sammy

soon he wondered
what dry land felt like
and put on some sandals

flash forward

Sammy is married and has
two children (modest amount
for a fish)

he hides his gills in public
but they all know there’s
something about him—
you could say something fishy,
but that would be too obvious

Rita, his wife, especially
suspects his secret every time
they go the river

or to the ocean
or to the sink

she lives in fear that
what she suspects is true
and then also lives in fear
that Sammy will discover
her secret

she is a sharp-beaked
predator at war with herself.


In the dream I am on the table
Like a bug
Being studied
A knife hits my bone
I see important objects
On the floor             spread out
I wake up remembering
Faces in the waiting room.

(first pub. at Egg Poetry, 2012)



This is for Oliver who told
us the story of a checkered
floor and woke us up,

for Oliver whose hat went
missing and was mistaken
for someone’s mother,

for Oliver who told us
stories about loss, grief,
and the mind.


Today’s LittleNip:
—JD DeHart

verdant and cooling
yet raging with spicy charge
metaphors for you


—Medusa, with thanks to JD DeHart for today’s fine poetry—all the way from Tennessee!


Celebrate poetry!

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