Monday Poem


I need a good poem
lifespan-short, one
I can shoe-horn between instants
which in that pinch says so much
I’ll understand long and short
by the depth of calluses
they leave on my brain
but it’s not happening
I’m already up to nine lines
so it’s too late for brevity

what I’d like is
one that says something
without rolling on forever
Amazon-like with the
topographical detours
of rivers and streams
or the cul de sacs
of human flaw

but now I see
this is impossible
and won’t end here
in brute summation
like a dead fish
wrapped in newsprint
warning of impending
but once-avoidable

no, it’ll go on
(who knows why or how long)
until all nouns,
verbs, conjugations,
& absolute clauses
have been spent

until this mine of
memory and metaphor
is no more complete
than the stored meanings,
dragged inside-out
in a flow of pregnant clauses
of blood & breath & bone
that led to others & others & others
like cups spilled into the flow
of the sea-bound flood of
sisters and brothers

Jim Culleny