Two Poems by Simon Walnut

Dear Mary

I never thought your tears
were some sort of perverse nectar,
but a friendship without scars
Just ain’t got no character.

The jazz musicians agree it’s the silence
between the sound that gives the song its shape.
Like Michelangelo’s discarded marble shards
give up the shape of David in their absence,
We define contours of our unity by separation.
Lonely chiselers,
a mess of tears and marble dust and garbage inertia.

Absence makes the heart grow number
to the breaking point of decision:
will it be a fine exquisite detail or total abscission?

Reality crashes on your pretty metaphor:
this is not, in fact, a piece of marble and
you, sure as shit, are no Michelangelo.
Fuck, I’m just a loser.

It’s a living thing that you control like the weather.
You are the fragile, breakable statue
somehow caught in the wind
deciding your course like a feather.

The nearly invisible threads connecting you to the others
that are the same somehow are your whole strength
but you forget that and instead think about
not being lonely tonight
and god,

what about tomorrow?

Battle Scars

like a blue-light special
on a sick afternoon.
I am on your porch
and look up.
The icicles
point down
like swords,

waiting for me to move.

These glacial stalactites,
empty threats of time and temperature,
I render them a harmless pool
by simple stillness, patience
and high-energy photons from nearest star.

This battle was a cinch,
but what about the greater war?

Our lives hang in Symmetry,
we duck and cover
but the space
never changes.

Atomic words leave combat scars

…But I am a veteran
Addicted to the battle.

Profile: Simon Walnut

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