Tuesday, March 15, 2011

From Controlled Hallucinations

Don’t be late!
In half an hour
we’ll be casting
our permanent roles
in each other’s lives.
The shutter clicks.
Our love is now timeless.
That sound scratching against the window?
The force of wind upon tree?
A curious blackbird?
The desperation of hands gone astray?
            Diversion? Clarity?
Dreams of solitude, of rebirth,
            of other dreams?
            Idolatry? Feverish exaltation?
            Or the last screams of a home
And yet each morning I first check the mailbox
for those unwritten love letters,
for the bills long paid,
for the lost correspondences
that will help me read the rest of the day.
I’ve returned to the abandoned factory of childhood one last time.
Standing in its exact center, I fear how many windows are left to shatter—
only a handful of stones in my pocket.
And how those long broken have been taped, boarded, secured,
as if I’ve never been here before, as if I’ve never forgotten.
And the walls have endured neglect and fire, have fortified.
Everything smells of me.
So hard to choose to have no place to turn.
I can still hear churning gears
and those damn familiar voices and their love-words.
I thought I’d grazed the lawn down to soil
but the world is green and full.
And still the same flowers I thought I’d eaten down to stem.
--John Sibley Williams is a poet and book publicist residing in Portland, OR. He has a previous MA in Writing and presently studies Book Publishing at Portland State University, where he serves as Acquisitions Manager of Ooligan Press and publicist for Three Muses Press. His poetry was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize and won the 2011 Heart Poetry Award. His debut chapbook, A Pure River, was published in 2010 by The Last Automat Press. Some of his over 100 previous or upcoming publications include: The Evansville Review, RHINO, Rosebud, Ellipsis, Flint Hills Review, Euphony, Open Letters, Cadillac Cicatrix, Juked, The Journal, Hawaii Review, Cutthroat, The Furnace Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Aries, and River Oak Review. His website is: www.TheArtOfRaining.com.

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