E.F. Schraeder's creative work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies including Voluted Tales, Hoax, Haz Mat Review, Lavender Review, Corvus Magazine, Carnival of the Damned, and others. Author of a poetry chapbook, The Hunger Tree, Schraeder studied the humanities in graduate school and has an interdisciplinary Ph.D. Find more online at www.efschraeder.com
Before the prequel to the sequel
was the original
maybe black and white celluloid
or hot technicolor
sent into the world
like a folded paper crane
swimming against a thousand rejections
and reviews, unfolded on screen
into a confessional booth of truth
for a generation of audiences,
whose children now wait
for someone else to write it,
to box it up, and sell it back to us.
Beyond the ledge of a looming, stony cliff
of depression peeks sunlight. Wait it out,
with a tired treadmill push, watch for the proverbial
burst of blue sky or bluebird to replace the blues.
Before coding melancholy moods
became an industry, there was only time.
Each dusty windowsill reminding,
life happens out there, see? And death,
that coiled snake of a friend. Look, it’s all there.
Maybe the weight of perspective is a boon,
like whatever kept me from skinny dipping
at 15 beneath the hot sun keeps me
looking for that burst of sunlight,
thick yellow brightness, until just as fast
the lightness of everything makes me laugh.
Eternity of Everything
When I first learned about heaven,
the cosmic yes of stardust become time
like golden morning light dancing
on a cornfield, sky blue as a hyacinth,
the idea fragmented, waited to explode
its lonely answers to the thousand losses,
those slow collapsed moments
when a loved heart stops.
How grief collides
against a nothing day,
other people work, send texts
though life-as-you-know-it shatters,
a confetti egg
showering glittering bits of faint happiness,
leaving nothing but a mess.
Then that brief flash of understanding
how all life connects, compassion
bright as a shooting star,
uniting all beings in infinite oneness.