poem: UNTITLED 20
this smile is a jail cell
centuries of laughter
sorry if i say the wrong things—
2,000 years of solitude
dripping from cheek bones
when the sirens awaken the crows
i wouldn’t have fled so fast
except every escape route
is covered in my foot prints
poem: A PRACTICE IN NEVER LOOKING BACK
“But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak…”
– Matthew 10:19 (KJV)
as if my life has sat beside me
in a fury of unfathomable silence
to see it moving like all those mouths in the mirror
missing their names or voices—
a beaten path swallowed by the questions of those before me
to see through hope & fear
to see through fabrication
to look past yr own last words—
the breath sealed in the tomb of the rosebud
the breath knee deep in memories of water & wine
without delusion belief is nothing
without delusion what are you
but whatever you say you are
without heart there is no breath
without hawk there is no sky
why else would owl be looking back from its nest—
i didn’t plan on pulling those voices from the river
but even the nights are not without a sense of longing
besides, the last time i talked to someone from the county
my mouth was filled with too much blood & history to stand
for anything on my own
—quiet yrself & let it stagger from the tongue
as a newborn foal from the womb
“i will give you the words you always needed”
so long as you promise to fan the flame
behind the eyes when the mystery
shakes shadow from body
& the wind refuses to speak
poem: CARRYING SOUND
THE SCARY PART IS NOBODY KNOWS WHAT & IF THEY ARE HOLDING.
BREATH. VOICES. SELVES & SHELLS. PASTS & FUTURES.
THE REPUBLIC STANDS ON THE BACKBONE OF THE TELEVISION REMOTE.
WE CANNOT STOP THE PIGEONS FROM DYING OF LAUGHTER.
WE WILL NOT QUIT POURING IODINE INTO THE PUNCH BOWL.
POETS CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS BUT DON’T ASK ABOUT THE JOB SEARCH
OR THE MANY DEPOSITIONS OF ENDLESS ARUGULA ON ANTARCTICA.
NEVER TRUST AN ARTIST ALONE AT A WINDOW.
RAISE YR CHILDREN TO BE KIND & ORNERY TOWARDS YOU.
I HAVEN’T CLIMBED OUT OF MY OWN EYES IN A WEEK.
LATELY ALL MY PRAYERS ARE FLOODED WITH NUCLEAR FALLOUT—
THE ROACHES WILL HAVE TO TELL THE OTHERS
OF CORAL REEFS, TOOTH FAERIES, HALOS, LEMON & LIME,
POTTERY, ALL THAT CAN HAPPEN IN ALLEYS, ETC.
D.C. Wojciech is the author of The Longest Breath (Anvil Tongue, 2020). He edits Silver Pinion.