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Rejection Slips 2

Rejection Slips 2 The Shape of Mourning by Michael R. Burch The shape of mourning is an oiled creel shining with unuse, the bolt of cold steel on a locker shielding memory, the monthly penance of flowers, the annual wake, the face in the photograph no longer dissolving under scrutiny, becoming a keepsake, the useless mower lying forgotten in weeds, rings and crosses and all the paraphernalia the soul no longer needs. Unfoldings by Michael R. Burch # Love unfolded like a flower; Pale petals pinked and blushed to see the sky. I came to know you and to trust you in moments lost to springtime slipping by. Then love burst outward, leaping skyward, and untamed blossoms danced against the wind. All I wanted was to hold you; though passion tempted once, we never sinned. Now love's gay petals fade and wither, and winter beckons, whispering a lie. We were friends, but friendships end... yes, friendships end and even roses die. # Dancer by Michael R. Burch You will never change; you range, investing passion in the night, waltzing through a blinding blue, immaculate and fabled light. Do not despair or wonder where the others of your race have fled. They left you here to gin and beer and won't return till you are bled of fantasy and piety, of brewing passion like champagne, of storming through without a clue, but finding answers fall like rain. They left. You laughed, but now you sigh for ages, stages slipping by. You pause; applause is all you hear. You dance, askance, as drunkards cheer. # Excerpts from the Journal of Dorian Gray by Michael R. Burch It was not so much dream, as error; I lay and felt the creeping terror of what I had become take hold... The moon watched, silent, palest gold; the picture by the mantle watched; the clock upon the mantle talked, in halting voice, of minute things... Twelve strokes like lashes and their stings scored anthems to my loneliness, but I have dreamed of what is best, and I have promised to be good... Dismembered limbs in vats of wood, foul acids, and a strangled cry! I did not care, I watched him die... Each lovely rose has thorns we miss; they prick our lips, should we once kiss their mangled limbs, or think to clasp their violent beauty. Dream, aghast, the flower of my loveliness, this ageless face (for who could guess?), and I will kiss you when I rise... The patterns of our lives comprise strange portraits. Mine, I fear, proved dear indeed...Adieu! The knife’s for you. # Doppelgänger by Michael R. Burch Here the only anguish is the bedraggled vetch lying strangled in weeds, the customary sorrows of the wild persimmons, the whispered complaints of the stately willow trees disentangling their fine lank hair, and what is past. I find you here, one of many things lost, that, if we do not recover, will undoubtedly vanish forever ... now only this unfortunate stone, this pale, disintegrate mass, this destiny, this unexpected shiver, this name we share. # Musings at Giza by Michael R. Burch In deepening pools of shadows lies the Sphinx, and men still fear his eyes. Though centuries have passed, he waits. Egyptians gather at the gates. Great pyramids, the looted tombs ?how still and desolate their wombs!? await sarcophagi of kings. From eons past, a hammer rings. Was Cleopatra's litter borne along these streets now bleak, forlorn? Did Pharaohs clad in purple ride fierce stallions through a human tide? Did Bocchoris here mete his law from distant Kush to Saqqarah? or Tutankhamen here once smile upon the children of the Nile? or Nefertiti ever rise with wild abandon in her eyes to gaze across this arid plain and cry, “Great Isis, live again!” # The Poet's Condition by Michael R. Burch The poet's condition (bother tradition) is whining contrition. Supposedly sage, his editor knows his brain's in his toes though he would suppose to soon be the rage. His readers are sure his work's premature or merely manure, insipidly trite. His mother alone will answer the phone (perhaps with a moan) to hear him recite. # Cycles by Michael R. Burch I see his eyes caress my daughter’s breasts through her thin cotton dress, and how an indiscreet strap of her white bra holds his bald fingers in fumbling mammalian awe... And I remember long cycles into the bruised dusk of a distant park, hot blushes, wild, disembodied rushes of blood, portentous intrusions of lips, tongues and fingers... and now in him the memory of me lingers like something thought rancid, proved rotten. I see Another again?hard, staring, and silent? though long-ago forgotten... And I remember conjectures of panty lines, brief flashes of white down bleacher stairs, coarse patches of hair glimpsed in bathroom mirrors, all the odd, questioning stares... Yes, I remember it all now, and I shoo them away, willing them not to play too long or too hard in the back yard? with a long, ineffectual stare that years from now, he may suddenly remember. # The Evolution of Love by Michael R. Burch Love among the infinitesimal flotillas of amoebas is a dance of transient appendages, wild sails that gather in warm brine and then express one headstream as two small, divergent wakes. Minuscule voyage?love! Upon false feet, the pseudopods of uprightness, we creep toward self-immolation: two nee one. We cannot photosynthesize the sun, and so we love in darkness, till we come at last to understand: man’s spineless heart is alien to any land. We part to single cells; we rise on buoyant tears, amoeba-light, to breathe new atmospheres ... and still we sink. The night is full of stars we cannot grasp, though all the World is ours. Have we such cells within us, bent on love to ever-changingness, so that to part is not to be the same, or even one? Is love our evolution, or a scream against the thought of separateness?a cry of strangled recognition? Love, or die, or love and die a little. Hopeful death! Come scale these cliffs, lie changing, share this breath.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020

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