Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Helen Peterson

You Obtund Me

Reduce the edge, circle, cut
as smooth as wire through clay
trim unkind words, learn to bite
the tongue, let go of late nights
alone, learn patience, let it sand
away pain, mistrust, until you shine
with hope, like chrome freshly buffed

Myopic Stipple

The kind that takes a blind man from the dumpster
to the gallery spreading love like sprinkled dots
across canvas bunched in grocery cart corners
the cart that flies into the Mercedes, the art
that passes hands, dirt crusted to manicured
dents forgiven in light of finding the one
outsider artist left on the street, shunning
the paparazzi, TLC calling on a pay phone
but the man refuses the charges

Such A Nannicock

A word so rare even Oxford
Has no definition, Merriam Webster
shrugs it pages, blushing, call
it an extinct bird, a dodo with wings
strong enough for flight
always in the sky never landing
though trees stretch their branches
to brush through feathers, earth cries
out for the touch of a taloned feet

Lay Offs Induce Catalepsy

Rumors fly and the breath goes out
and there is nothing left to go in,
walls close, hands bind invisible
around arms, legs, neck
heart freezes within the chest
and all within the space of a whisper,
the rustle of paper, recoiling behind my back.

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