April 5, 2016

Three Poems by Jay Sizemore: "What is known", "The illusion of starting over", and "Subconscious gods"

Jay Sizemore is not your enemy. He's just a writer, someone who writes things and then spends weeks regretting it. Sometimes he questions the motives of the muse, but he's handcuffed to her for life. You can find him at jaysizemore.com, or, if you're a stalker, in Nashville, TN, where he may or may not actually exist.

What is known

The trees know nothing of gods,
the trees are the gods
exhaling life
they pleasure the sky
with effortless tongues.

The pigeons cooing in the loft
know nothing of martyrdom,
flight is a language
devoid of sacrifice,
the pigeons are the gods.

A grasshopper’s mandibles
work without prayer’s necessity,
worshiping the scent of green,
color their eyes never register,
the grasshopper is god.

The river is a vein without a heartbeat,
it knows nothing of birth or death,
it knows nothing but flow,
an absence of all senses
lending itself to replenishment.
The river is god.

The sky knows nothing of stars,
nothing of clouds, birds or moon.
The sky knows nothing of rain,
of breath, of blue.

The Earth knows nothing of war,
nothing of geese
forming their migrational V.
The Earth knows nothing of man
scribbling their worships
onto cave walls.
Dirty fingerprints left on a bone.

The universe knows nothing of Earth,
nothing of Fibonacci, nothing of the whale,
as a woman knows nothing
of the life
she bleeds onto the bedsheet.

The illusion of starting over

The new leaf is the same as the old leaf,
though each life feels variant and unique.
Just flipping a page on the calendar,
and writing the wrong date on the check,

popping a cork on a bottle of cheap champagne,
white suds spilling down the green glass neck,
we sing of old acquaintances, long forgot,
and raise a glass for another day of the week.

Time itself is devoid of chance,
that infinite wheel of infinite spokes spinning
never stops and never slows,
never resets to zero, because midnight is a myth.

Throw away your watch, smash all the clocks,
break every bone in your fist against the gallows,
for when it comes to changing your mind,
today is the same as it will be tomorrow.

Subconscious gods

It happened again...
I was thinking of someone
I hadn’t seen in years,
cupping an old crush in my palm
like an injured bird,
singing to soothe her oil-drop eyes,
and ten minutes later
there she was,
graceful and gorgeous
as a six-foot starling,
standing in the Walgreens aisle
amid air fresheners and Windex,
pulled perfect from the pages
of my high school yearbook
with a clandestine desire
to buy vanilla-scented wax.

Like that Alice in Chains song
“Would,” stuck in your head
for an hour and a half,
its catchy bass hook
stumbling on repeat
through the hospital halls of your brain,
a drunk gorilla in a lab coat
rattling its stethescope
against the walls,
then pounding it through
your stereo speakers
soon as you crank the ignition.

The solipsism of seasonal depression
calls the rain, the gray slate
of stratus clouds and chill
from some distant dismal ether
like breath on cold glass
you write your name into.

That sudden burning laser
you are being watched,
as if the sun swelled,
its ultraviolet rays
working their quiet violence
on the nape of your neck,
glancing back
to see a stranger avert their gaze
into their coffee cup
across the street.

The déjà vu of relived dreams,
every detail a buzzing fluorescent
flickering beyond the fog of your memory,
a rerun on an old television set
with black and white static
watched from underneath the bed,
obscure nuances—

she holds her fork with three fingers,
glossy purple nail polish
and light like a mirror ball
cast through candled glass,
how she laughs
at something you can’t see
over your shoulder, then fading
into ghost tongues probing
the base of your spine,
a goose stepping over
a soil mound, dark, damp, and fresh.

~Jay Sizemore

Total Pageviews