Saturday, April 9, 2016

James Babbs- Three Poems

James Babbs continues to live and write from the same small Illinois town where he grew up.  He has published hundreds of poems over the past thirty years and, recently, a few short stories.  James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013).

Talking to the Dead

I’m pouring the whiskey
getting good and drunk again
and I’m talking to the dead
across the silence of this room
but the dead never answer me
they can’t hear me
are they even listening to me
and where are the dead tonight
are they floating between the stars
or are they buried in the ground
rotting silently in their graves
we have all of these notions about
where the dead must go
and what happens to them
when they’re no longer the living
they still walk among us
just beyond our reach
or maybe
they merely fade into flickering
the soft light of memory
I don’t know
I wish I had the answers
and I’m not sure
what I can tell you
I don’t know
I don’t know what I believe

In the Distance the Silence Is Deafening

why should I take the time to
describe the room where I’m sitting
nobody cares about this room and
nobody gives a damn
about the moon and the stars
or how the light falls across
the pages of my notebook
poetry doesn’t mater and
people all over the world are perfectly content
living without the knowledge of books
none of them will ever read my words
nor will they ever miss them
they know poetry doesn’t really matter
when children are starving in Washington and
we have people dying on the streets of NYC
and all over America people without jobs
spend part of their days looking for work
while other people down on their luck
hang out in the bars
waiting for another drink and
I know poetry doesn’t matter
but I keep writing it anyway
it doesn’t really matter
in much the same way
we can all exist without love and
every day I continue
practicing my dying art
sitting here at this gray metal desk
surrounded by shelves full of books
listening for the sound of something
too far away for me to hear

No Magic Here

no matter what happens
there’s no magic here
but sometimes
you find some luck and
it gets you through the day
cars out on the road
full of people going nowhere and
all the years gone
but I still feel the same
along the edges of things and
never moving any closer
toward the inside
what happened to the warm days
what happened to my youth
there doesn’t have to be
a reason for anything and
everything keeps going
whether we want it to or not
nothing lasts forever and
nobody really cares about
anything but themselves
one day
even these words will disappear

1 comment:

  1. Fine poetry with a sense of deep meaning and identity.