Three Poems by Cliff Weber

how to assassinate the void

You must start with Imagination;
the blessed,
and chosen beast,
handpicked for gruesome battles
such as this.

For the void is a disease
that feasts on the public,
tricking the cerebrum
into believing money and monotony
breed satisfaction,
a meaningfully adequate existence,

The sad part is
the disease has claimed mountains of victims.
Some of them are dead,
unable to repeat and repent,
and some are alive—
walking past you on the sidewalk,
serving your lunch
or cutting your hair.
They are merely shells of human potential;
hollowed out bodies
programmed to respond with simple answers:
“Yes, sir. Right away, sir.”
“No, sir. My fault, sir.”

The diseased are no different than crudely built robots.
They accomplish their tasks at work
with moderate
to above moderate success.
They acknowledge their co-workers
with polite farewell gestures
and drive home in a generally safe manner.
Red lights mean stop,
green lights mean go
and yellow lights should be read as slow down.
God forbid you strike another vehicle
and injure a healthy,
capable cog.
The government does not appreciate such accidents.
In fact,
the government does not appreciate much of anything.
The government is doing just fine,
so move along.
Nothing to see here.
Your work is appreciated
and so are you.
Move along, champ.
Nothing to see here.

The next hurdle involves Passion.
A dash is fine,
but I recommend a handful.
Passion is a difficult ingredient to apprehend,
so do not succumb to its elusiveness.
Do not surrender if the search prolongs.
Passion is a pure and honest commodity
worthy of its journey.
Many weak legs have collapsed
before reaching the pillar it rests upon.
Many courageous men have lowered their sword
in valiant defeat.
Passion will evade your efforts
until desperate necessity kicks in,
pumping ferociously
like the legs of the prey
narrowly outrunning the fresh feet
of the hungry hunter.

Problem is,
the hunted outnumber the hunters,
but the scaly beast of oppression
strangles the advantage,
sucking the air out
until the purple, lifeless face
crumples in defeat.

There is no formula
no matter what I say,
no matter what you hear.
Do whatever it takes,
for however long,
to assassinate the void
and emerge an independent
fireball of a progressive thought.

you’ll know what to do when I say

I believe in mystery
and tonight I believe in tiny bottles of red wine
and David Byrne
and waiting
for inspiration to come
rather than pushing the panic button
with cold feet
and cold toes
gripping the cracks in the hardwood floor
like vultures on the swooping descent.
I’ve witnessed their teeth-gnashing dive-bombs
their salivating tongues
that wag in the air like the bottom of the rope
gyrating in a cone of wind.
Speak to me you cheap Cab
you Frank Sinatra muse.
While you’re lying awake
thinking of the girl
I’m lying awake
thinking of the girl.
That’s the time you miss her most.

maybe her body followed

Breaking the surface of the pomegranate
felt like penetrating human skin.
The purple blood trickled down my fingers
and splashed onto the meat of my bare foot.
I saw it falling towards the ground
and even though there was ample time to react
I was unable to pull away.
I felt knuckle deep in fresh Jello
or 15 minutes into a hot shower
on a winter morning.
I knew I had to let go
but my body refused.

Profile: Cliff Weber

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