Sunday, October 01, 2023

Excuse My Sloth

—Poetry by Sam Barbee, Winston-Salem, NC
—Photos Courtesy of Public Domain

Spells to the living.  Summons to the dead.
Foul details must prove delectable.
The happy median, like purgatory,
where angels practice their score
of murder ballads, or grace.
In violet light, safe from snow drifts
and depths, my eyes are shadows in the gazebo.
Frosty breaths between garden statues
and gravestones.  Monuments among
ice sculpts and cumulus. 
Soft lips gone.  Fractures sunk in dank.
Dislocated mandibles spill fresh greetings.
Fingers wave—digits counting joy—
I will cling to fidelity, misdirect riffles
of sorrow, giggle as they pass.
Crouched on a bench, I become penetrable. 
Yet, to my relief, each preliminary judge
excuses my past sloth—their tongues rattle
with absolution and allow my short-lived
triumphs to take hold.
Whispering against my mouth
your teeth twist my tongue.
Another plea, and stars stumble
like breeze veiled as choice tousles.
You opine of an ancient train
spanning a turbulent river.
Below the bridge, stones shimmer,
fists interrupting white-water shiver.
Disconnections must be served.
I leap off the rail, crave the fall. 
Another of your jig-sawed dreams 
as I long for the sandman’s call.
Your flaming discourse hardens,
allowing crust over midnight flash. 
Beside taper burning flush,
final breath releasing ash. 
Bonafide disdain.  Robed on Sunday. 
Strides high with Communions.
Dusts the altar; polishes brass.
Forgiveness severed from sympathy.
Prayer cards and pews, her domain.
Unswept rice on church-house steps.
Chants and notes; chats betwixt chicken.
She shuffles bones, relies on visions.
Leaf veins, ear-hoops.  Sister slithers.
Tallies on extra fingers and toes.
Grimy tarot cards.  Broken bark.
Shaman casts stones above resting ribs.
Survives by sticks and tracks. 
Fillets soft belly of the beast.
Checkered skirt.  Street corner Scammer. 
Rappin block-honor and shame.
Glitches and glad-hand tidings.
Turnin first and second rhymes.
Makin it to moonlight, midnight.
Low-pitched pledge.  Future to wide eyes. 
Salt and grease sloshed with red soda.
Warm loaves haunt our kitchen.
Chilled slice of your touch. 
Spiced patois served with cheap wine.
Foul tannins dull hunger.  Privilege has changed.  

Your half-strung pearls twist me,
Glitches outlast each gem’s glint. 
Love’s bauble more untouchable with every truce. 
Steadfast, your coarse jargon enunciates stale

Cruel idioms delivered with elegant slang to gnarl
our silent knot.  Erotic and aloof, you evade my
I search out a new tongue to erode and revise
serenade your negative light.  Twirl us through
sorrow’s dance.

I harmonize with color, and gladly bow to you. 
to find dialect to relax creases, ease the room’s
My whisper across flesh, kiss your naked
a single posted pearl in your ear.
Black eye-liner extends to bejeweled ears. 
Blue mascara rims almond-shaped eyes.
Slender neck adorned with ivory beads.
Like a private barge,
                                  we drift on your divan
in your sequestered empire trimmed with gilded
A wide palace, white flags and banners unfurled.
You lure with a laugh. 
                                    Call forth new sun
to bewilder and command my obedience.
Reclined on silk pillows, you ennoble me.
Take me in stride—
                                 the next simple man
to conquer.
                    Plunge me into a fragrant bath.
Glance commands between quick glorious breaths. 
You glow, and clap of your hands
                                              as if summoning
eunuchs to twirl fresh palms, the ceiling fan
cools us
You arise, my Queen,
                                    realm recreated—
glimmer restored. 
Discarded on a soggy dock, I watch you sail,
and will bask knowing I am blessed
by the divine daughter of a god.


Today’s LittleNip:

Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer's work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader's recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book's truth.

―Marcel Proust,
Time Regained


—Medusa, welcoming Sam Barbee back on this first day of October, with thanks for his fine poetry that hints of witchery to come. Sam has been hanging around the Kitchen since 10/7/20.
 Sam and Jan Barbee

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 LittleSnake’s Glimmer of Hope
(A cookie from the Kitchen for today):

smooth, sinewy deer
and two yearlings
stealing apples from 
my neighbor’s