Friday, September 26, 2014

Chris Crittenden- Three Poems


the strain of his eyes
becomes the fake of the paper on the screen.
breath bends over to tantrum,
as if it could by itself
batter out something decent
on the keyboard.

if only sobs
could articulate the profound;
or an undermined heart
wrote what it meant.  fingers
were just signposts of stripped feathers, 
desperate with lust to free
their knotted wings.

the machine on his lap
didn’t care about crotch-throb,
or the twitchy hours
of cramps and aches--

as if the sweet white paper, such a liar,
was ordained to resist;
as if clouds of purgatory
had been rolled out flat,
and waited now like parchment--

for his confessions to tattoo
their heads, breasts, genitals, and arms.


clipboards rustled,
an anti-satisfaction of scribbled miffs.

she could hear herself not matter,
and fail to breathe.

they were a cabal of lemmings
summoned, not quite yet, to make her fall:

a demise crafted in the style of sly traps,
the sort that bind suture by scurry,

syringe by footstep.

were ants this quiet
to the march of other ants?

did the hormone-rich glands of insects
merely stare?

if pain could blossom in a thorax,
why did it hibernate in the human heart?


the doctor’s smile was turning mandibular.
the nurse’s lips were becoming feelers.

the back of the man in the white coat
could have been the front.


remnants glare,
once sipped and cupped
like a breast,
now derelict and scarlet,
exiles in crystal
on a white cloth stage.

not fashionable
or sexed by cute lips,
or wielded like a decree
of an intoxicant king.

not regnant
or magnetic
or even libertine.
more specter than scepter,
more antique,
shed-off husks of slinked love,
not remembered
by the snake.

drunk away, heart gone,
spell spent.
no savor of grape
or tinkle from silverware ting.
only this shell
of a prettified pill,
aftermath of urges.
the invisible stark.

CC writes from a struggling town fifty miles from the nearest traffic light.   He blogs as Owl Who Laughs and is pretty well published.

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