Shadowcaster

It’s the time of the shadowcaster
when the streets are turning blue
and the sky becomes distant
He is frightening because
he can turn friends and lovers
into dark silhouettes
and make beauty transparent
but one should never forget
that he is the only one
who can turn
violence into whispers
and ugliness into mystery

EL SEBBO

It’s never about what I think it’s about

Say one thing
mean another
think a third

How do we
communicate
when nothing
makes sense?

Unconscious animal
moving through
the day

Trying to find
meaning in
a word
a look
a gesture

Knowing there
is nothing I can do
to stop these random
inaccurate thoughts

From creeping
crawling
making themselves
known

But I keep thinking,
someday
all this will make
perfect sense …

Someday

(D. James)

wait … wait … there’s something …

There’s something
I want to say

but just can’t
get it to come out
right

This urgent feeling
that needs expressing

Don’t know it’s name
or where it comes
from

not even sure
how to go about
getting it out

Like a mad pinball
rattling around
in my soul

Perhaps I just need
to let it roll

(D. James)

Greek gods

To Seferis, Elytis, Ritsos, Cavafy, etc…

Greek poetry
is probably
the best in the world
just like the beer
commercial says
It is blue
like a spotless sky
crushing the shoulders
and elevating the soul
like the turning
of the head
and the possibility
of a smile
It is white
like the bones
in my hand
or the proud
stones left behind
by forgotten
architects
Yes
the best poets
in the world
but it is normal
After all
these people
invented
ruins

EL SEBBO

What will happen tomorrow?

What will happen tomorrow
when the rain comes
and thunderbolts strike
at random?
Will I open my window
and applaud
or will I crawl
underneath my bed
praying to a God
who doesn’t believe
in me?
Will I run outside
laughing and singing
or sit in my room
shaking my head
and saying
“I told you so”?
Will I buy an umbrella
and walk alone in
the shiny streets
or will invite you in
and make a large
pot of coffee
so we can
chat about summer
and the passing
of the clouds?

EL SEBBO

Why poetry isn’t easy for us men (or “Tsvetaieva vs Brodsky”)

The best poets
are always
women
and children
Women use words
to resist
and exist
in this
closed and unfair
world
Children
are natural
poets
gathering words
and images
like a colorful
jigsaw puzzle
But for us
men
ah
things
are different
because
the words
we use
were given
not taken
and the images
forged
not gently tamed
and like kings
on a tacky throne
we believe
in everything
we say
although
our words
simply roll
at our feet
like the tiny
plastic pearls
of a broken
necklace

LA SEBBA

I am made in your image

For Seb

A stranger enters
the town square
and says

I am the second coming
I am the last prophet
I am the one and only

But the people ignore him
so he stands there silently
for 40 days and 40 nights

On the last day
he says unto them

I am the one
I am the son and moon
I have but one message

And still the people ignore him

Finally, as he begins to walk away
a man of the town asks,
“Where are you going?”

To which he replies
Do not follow me

And this is how the people know
he is the one true messiah,
the final prophet

They bow before him
but he says unto them

Bow to no one
Follow no one
Believe in yourselves
This is the only truth

To which the people reply
by building colossal monuments
and writing many books
about his teachings and sayings

For eons they preach
and pray for his eventual return

They pray and wait
and wait and pray

But he is a man
of his word and
will not return,
for they have
not learned the
lesson

(D. James)

Night has

To Zamiatin and a few other courageous souls

Night has fallen upon us
impeccably blue
with a few artificial stars
bringing promises
of warmer winds
and colder days
A night
everybody should love
and why not?
It seems so perfect
Protective
Absolute
Strong
Merciless
Yes night has fallen upon us
but we still have a lighter
and a couple of cigarettes
to keep us warm while
we are waiting for
our frailties to be
publicly mocked
and justly punished
under the hard blue sky

EL SEBBO

Take me quick

I don’t want to die
in winter

It’s too cold

Take me when it’s warm
so I won’t mind
the cold hand
on my soul

I don’t want to die
in the light of day

It’s too bright

Take me when it’s night
so I won’t see your approach
or know the hour

Take me on some
late summer night
when I have nothing
to look forward to

Take me when I’m happiest
for it does not come
often

So take me quickly
and make it good

Or I will be forced
to send you on your way
and have you take me
another day

(D. James)