Is Near

June 4, 2013

If I left the ending
which is the air you wished for
—Jesse Seldess[1]

The old attic is near.
Where he lived is near, the old man.
Where the string pulled taught,
had left his eyes bulging in pain,
his mouth a bowl of salvia
he could not swallow.
Where he almost drowned.

Say. The lake is near.
Say, the lake is on fire.
The swamp is full
of ooze, monochrome darkness.
So still. These balls of air,
too black to wear,
too sharp to capture.
The balls of hair.
Is near. Dear.

Is near.


[1] From Left Having, Kenning Editions, Chicago 2011.

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4 Responses to “Is Near”

  1. extrasimile Says:

    Yeah, just another scary movie…or maybe not.

  2. Anna Mark Says:

    Atmospheric, yes. Striking, yes, all the way through. Balls of air, balls of hair. From almost drowning to a lake on fire and a swamp of ooze. This is surreal and nightmarish. Frightening. I am looking around me to what is near here.

  3. extrasimile Says:

    Thanks, John. Menacing, sí; Baudelaire, no. I haven’t read any Baudelaire in a thousand years–though perhaps I should.
    Jesse Seldess, by the way, is an interesting poet. His book might be hard to come by, but you can hear him read at Penn Sound.

  4. John Stevens Says:

    This is really rather menacing, Jim. Echoes of Baudelaire – very atmospheric and striking.


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