poems as hand- and foot-holds on a glass mountain

Blue Popcorn

Sometimes it is only a voice, at others
a clear tap on the shoulder or back of the hand

now and then he will land on my windowsill
blacker than nothingness with bright yellow eyes

my self-appointed muse making a surprise visit
every few days or more often; a pest

A poem, he says in his raspy Dylan voice
in my head but clearly his, is almost wordless

before you read it, and after a few readings
the words actually vanish and you are reading

what you’ve imagined they are
in your private half-language

all feelings, visuals, and stirrings from their sources
in consciousness’ basement storehouse

He likes blue popcorn so I keep a bag
in a desk drawer; when I bring him out a handful

he eats it noisily crunching and cackling
and for awhile says nothing

That was a poem, right? I venture
he gives me his haughtiest yellow-eyed stare

Not every silence is a poem he says
then goes quiet for maybe half an hour

replaced by a waterfall I almost remember
hiking beside in a half-tame wood

that hid all but a few feet of itself ahead and behind
and swallowed up the sounds of its stream

rushing and falling with imaginary rustle, clatter, roar
and the subtle hiss slip slide of a woman undressing

Now that was a poem, he says briefly returning
then flies off into the lowering evening

the night would be another color but black suits it
and it would have to remake its whole franchise

and wardrobe; I consider what other colors would work
purple, orange, purple and orange, indigo

it mocks my suggestions with three-colored silences
all of them shades of black not quite distinguishable

from discontent of which there are a thousand flavors
I consider the likelihood that a poem

disguises discontent-fueled ambition
the floor drops away

and I am a blackbird flying in primal night
before all beginnings in peaceful silence

2 Responses to “Blue Popcorn”

  1. Craig Brandis (aka Burl Whitman)

    There is something wonderful and funny here in the blue popcorn. Teasing, humoring the muse is a wry comment on the whole concept. The metaphor and argument are beautifully resolved in the last line.

    Reply

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