Flash poems (formerly known as “micropoems,” though some are not so “micro”) are poems I challenge myself to write in the time it takes to write a thoughtful Facebook status update or short blog post… 20-30 minutes at the very most. Sometimes I give myself a topic, form or specific challenge. Often I will post these unedited as a daily exercise, and edit them down later. Anything that was a result of a flash poem exercise is posted in this category.
…When I drive on the Mohawk trail,
it’s a sort of sex—car and road
on full alert, breathing in rhythm
to the changing scenery.
A shift from two to three dimensions;
a falling, lurching into something
My senses can’t sleep
as this topographic music
approaches its peak, temperature dropping
degree by degree—the slow towns and farms
all passed far behind me; inclines shifting
as my car swerves like a pinball on its curves.
The Cold River’s ominous congress
through rocks, deafening—
reminding me that this road
is dangerous, and people die on it…
it occurs to me
around that time when internet research decays
from topics of insolvency and fellowships
to tongue splitting, furries and Rasputin’s pickled cock
that I am really, really lonely
and my brain,
radioactive and glowing,
(after all possible avenues for defilement
that Google and the human race have catalogued)…
…The world hasn’t changed.
My heart still struggles against gravity.
The snow still falls and collects
by the seed cakes, where chickadees
fight over the squirrels’ sloppy seconds.
I still drift.
A neighbor is shoveling my snow outside;
I hear the blade scraping on pavement.
I’ve brought him Earl Grey tea in a travel mug
and went outside to trade small words.
It was hard—
I wanted to stay by the woodstove, pretending
I didn’t hear it, pretending I didn’t need this…
…I’ve decided to walk today, which is hard for me
but your hand is filled with shadows
that flow into my veins
and soften the weight of sun.
Everywhere around you, shadows cushion me.
I am bathing in the darkness of your light…
All the fountains are lit up
and all the trials I’ve been tasked with
are done. I’ve traveled the underworld,
cakes in hand; kept my coin
for the ferryman. I wandered in the dark,
cards close to my chest
and when the lost souls cried to me,
they didn’t know my real name.
“When you’re five, endings are sweet.
The familiar turning of a car on your street
in your sleep, and the sighing of brakes
before the door opens to wake you
with the cool taste of night.
The sound of rustling paper—
last page falling on the story your mother
read you, when you’re already tucked in bed:
“The End,” in all-caps whisper—
“Sleep well,” ‘Good night.'”
I’m an envelope carried for too long,
protecting my contents; my skin is paper
sheathing over fire that’s learned the art
of not combusting.
I’m doing the dishes today.
Washing and shelving plates.
Answering my child’s questions.
Driving through a forest in the dark,
the moon in Scorpio and moonlight
twisting my cold feet in their boots…
There’s a place beyond the runway lights
where clouds learn to talk to each other.
The air traffic signals
bounce off the silver linings,
radiating light spokes into the ether
and the wheels turning
sound like the music
of departure from the body;
the bullroar hum
indicating something otherworldly
and not quite comfortable
to the habits of feet…