Category Archives: 33 poems

“The Past is not what it used to be…”

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The past is not what it used to be
nor for the matter is the future.
And when I’d found myself a decade
later than your death it was still;
no time, no rung, had passed.
I found that whether today was
my 22nd or my 33rd year
was an otiose tide; for arriving
in the next decade became this
decade, arriving in tomorrow
was always, is allways, today.
Is a moment now if still redolent
of then, of you? I found your picture
was kept either way you existed
and in existing either way I found
something in your smile had changed.
From the moment it was placed
away, lidded, to when this coffer’s
inspiratory gasp had expired your
respiring respite – something
in a still photograph had altered
(adapted maybe). My father had
brought me then to now
on a conduit of pictures and fading
albums where I found that whether
today was 2015 or 2004 it was
still, and yet no longer still,
this, year. Each photo (even
irreversibly through that decay
of time) shone your smile, your beauty
and found I did keep you
around in photographs for since
your suicide – every pareidolia has been you.

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My Lisp’s Mistress…

Amanda,

According to pediatricians, when I was much younger, there wasproblem with my tongue; the frenulum was “far too short” and just, “had to be cut,” so that later in life I would speak like a normal person…

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So then – as a teenager with impacted wisdom teeth about to go in for surgical removal, the doctors decided, “yes, this should be a fine time indeed to get rid of that pesky frenulum.” After surgery… Well… I’m sure you can imagine – 4 teeth pulled and a piece of my tongue removed.

Of the few people that notice that I do have a slight lisp with my voiceless dental sibilants (in particular the letter ‘s’) you not only did not make a joke of it but instead showed me how much you loved it. Every /s/ I spoke seemed to pour out of my mouth and into some aural erogenous zone that would elicit from you some kinetic necessity to reach out and kiss me. You are the mistress to my lisp…

My Lisp’s Mistress
    For Amanda Blair

Her fingers skim the skin
of my jaw she says,
“something in your smile,
some – thing perhaps – slid
from your tongue?”
She focuses, indexing
the sulcus of my
chin and says, “some
unveiled vestige of
Phoenician history –
a sin passed when
unused, unpoured
forth from that soft
palate,” her thumb
tip traces incisivus
superioris fastening
phalanx with philtrum
sealing orbicularis oris
to colonize my alveolar
ridge she sighs, “mine!
My salix lips –
my sibilant hush,
my lips-sentry
of Semitic shin,
polydeuces of Greek
Sigma and San as
unspeakable siblings,”
she presses sedulous,
against my pursed mouth
leaning into my cheek,
collapsing into a respiring
command, and whispers,
“I want to hear you hiss…”