A country emptied by the fear of war.
from The Dream of Lee, Reynolds Price
WE sat together in a coffee bar,
sheltered from the gentle autumn wind,
streaming the speech of Russian subterfuge
an out-of-style wartime
dream, a shadow war played out
on social networks filled up by the fear
How soon the sound turns to gibberish, the
way form follows meaning into blind alleys. Listen:
I just got through playing Bach suites on
the wrong instrument for them, the wrong way,
most likely, but as it was it was meaningful,
as it was.
Written in response to a dVerse prompt: write a quadrille, using the word sound.
There is little to be
seen outside my door
which doesn’t open. I see
a shrub, wooden fence, and four
houses ranged close, paranoid
in their huddled, gap-toothed
yards with their backs avoid-
ing contact with me. Truth
to tell, we all avoid this backyard
meeting. Privacy fences are tall
sentries against each other’s hard
gazes from kitchen blinds that fall.
We meet each other in the way
we wave politely at the end of day.
Not my best effort, but it is an English sonnet, and I wrote it in response to this dVerse prompt.
A response to a dVerse Prompt. Go make your own!
We went to my friend’s lake house
hoping the water was still up to the dock.
It was, but mud ran alongside the pilings,
made it look like a construction site,
with bottles, cans, and one boot
of a sort fashionable among young girls
Or as if the land was creeping back
to reclaim its own, after
the Hydroelectric Act of 1939
or whatever thing the legislature enacted
between dime-cigar bets and happy girls
flooded the land between two counties
mocking that part of creation where
dry land divided the waters and it was good
but it was also good to get out
on a boat and see the pine trees whizz by
like a flooded out interstate,
or Venice writ large and southern-style.
My friend pointed out trees
hanging on to dry land
roots leached out of the water
like receding gums,
or an uprising.
written in response to a dVerse prompt.
Often after a trauma
there is the mundane revery
if I could only
mine was a dream of an unbearable tartness
in a drink of volcanic coldness
I sipped metallic hospital crushed ice water
tried not to vomit up the simplest of soups
normally there is the gift of not desiring
the smell of nausea clings to things
that can’t be kept down but
I conjured up something like limeade
as a nuclear bomb is something like a firecracker
while the tubes of lukewarm glucose, morphine
and hot piss kept me alive.
written in response to a dVerse prompt
nothing can ever taste
as good as the smell
of red flashing neon
and white counters
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