Christian Collins CC
Drawing a Blank
To get started I will accept
anything that occurs to me.
But what happens when nothing occurs
to you, just your black and gray reflection
in a kitchen window, an older self
you otherwise haven’t yet conjectured?
With the panes clean and the outside
winter world predictably darker
than at this same time yesterday,
the double exposure you could call
Haggard Face over Exterior Scene
is like Community Ed. photography,
amateur-hour art work, a first-ditch effort
to mean something significant.
But then the dark subsides,
the framed face fades,
and there is just that world.
Only This, Just In
I once positioned my outpost on earth –
at the time, within earshot of owls
and a lake’s short waves –
to be the center of all communication
beaming in from everywhere, out
to all the warped, rounded corners
of this universe. I was hoping
to fool that alien sense
I imagined as native to many,
that I was actually practically cut off
from the prime gist of being alive.
So, rather than scanning for more
a how-to to convince the chipmunk
standing in for my mind
that this felt insignificance
was insignificant, thereby
skirting the issue that acted
as my Everest because
it was there, it was always there! –
I pitched a little white tent in a holler,
with vents in the canvas to let in, let out
my antennae, the requisite wires,
and the million telekinetic messages
I’d be managing by the minute,
like some ancient eighty-armed operator
devotedly plugging in, plugging out,
the supple joint articulating a life to life.
And when all systems were finally go,
and after I flicked the little switch (a
Venetian-like light flooding the moon
of my face), the first words in were
wind, and how old leaves left alone
will crackle for no particular reason.
Then the slow creaking of tall beeches,
followed by a pulsing, silent swooshing
as if I were holding my own personal shell
to my own individual ear,
as was my custom,
D. R. James lives in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan, with his wife, psychotherapist and substance-abuse counselor Suzy Doyle. He has taught writing, literature, and peace studies at the same small college for 35 years and has published 9 collections of poetry, the most recent being Flip Requiem from Dos Madres Press (2020). His micro-chapbook All Her Jazz is free, fun, and downloadable-for-folding at the Origami Poems Project. https://www.amazon.com/author/drjamesauthorpage
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.