Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Call It Magic

—Poems by JD DeHart, Chattanooga, TN
(Anonymous Photos)


We could call it a magic
age, but that's all trite,
the age where gesticulating
becomes more meaningful,
plastic figures are put away,
where adulthood and mortality
is heard echoing just beyond
childhood's window, a bird
chirping disaster on the porch
rail, and I remember how
the smartest girl I knew in
school spelled it tweleve,
misunderstanding the magic
of growing a little older.



There is a curled-up
baby inside my mind, I am
sure of it.
I can be the king
of silent tantrums.
When I hear a negative
report or a delay in my
well-pressed schedule
I want to wail and cry.
That's the baby talking.
Though I have worn work
boots and tried to commit
mighty acts of masculine
valor (just last week installing
a new vent for the dryer),
that infant still coos inside,
threatening a mortal fit.


Pull one thread,
the woven unravels, the character
begins to show signs of wear.
Which is why I hardly ever
reread novels.
Which is why I almost never
view films again.
I see the loose threads
and like a cavity in my tooth,
want to run my tongue over,
want to pull and tug
until there's nothing left,
the attention deficit side of me
nagging and tapping
until the narrative erodes,
even if it costs me chewing,
words becoming voices
walking on the shells
of a shattered yarn, protagonists
now homeless wander
along the sidewalk, shuffling,
looking for a new draft
to duck under in the rain.



We used to touch
love and reason, though I have been
told the atoms around us
protect our fingers from actual
contact with reality

There are force fields
all around us

There is nothing beautiful
about the word membrane,
but sensation changes the word,
we don’t think about it

When learning to feel again.


sense of rolling
on the tongue
extracting juice and meaning

sense of taste
the body absorbs
what is taken in becomes
part of the blood
a particle inside us

pulses all the way
through us
to the very center of heart
and brain

our loving savor
translates to electricity

engaging movement.



like the teeth
chew, moving molars
like the brain
reads, breaking apart

I saw

what I took in
curve and image
and light
distraction cacophonous

I still carry somewhere


A vision to the future
I gather from digital streams
letting me know what
voices in dark rooms will
look like a year from now.

What does the celluloid
purport to offer, what
music and art and image
arrives soon?

How deep does the screen
really go?



I imagine a dark shades
enemy out to get me,
but it's all just my usual

I imagine the whispers
are arrangements of stars
and teeth out to strike me
but it's all probably about
fantasy football

I conceive of a foe
so hidden as to not be
really real at all.


Oh, but look at how
he can sing and dance
in one movie
then kick tail and take
names in the next
Oh, but look how he
brought the class character
to life, dear Hugh J,
making a joke in one
scene, then slicing through
the next one.


Today’s LittleNip:

—JD DeHart

Refusing the stand in
line, really wanting the sticker,
never mind civic duty,
we wait to press the red button
that we having been waiting
to press for the last year.


—Medusa, with thanks to JD DeHart for sending us poetic messages, all the way from Chattanooga!

 —Celebrate poetry tonight at Time Tested Books 
in Sacramento, with readers Arturo Mantecón and 
Gilberto Rodriguez, and musical accompaniment by 
Arturo Valderrama, 7pm. Scroll down to the blue 
column (under the green column at the right) for 
info about this and other upcoming poetry events 
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.