(Poem Starting with a Line by Reginald Shepherd)

By JP Dancing Bear


bright in a wilderness of wish scatter

and hope debris.  What you have always wanted

remains locked behind lips so aphotic it makes

my Dali go insane with envy.  I am cooking clocks

to go into the doll-arm soup. The Mantle cards

float to the top while the Willie Mays-signed balls

sink to the bottom.  You know Hell, you know

the phases—the old friend in a cowl and cape,

boning his empty sockets down your road. Click,

clack, metronome tap, the beating of someone

else’s heart within your wrist. Ding-dong, the carolers

gone singing to the door you slump down

against.  Pray them away, not realizing

the price you pay, the burned negative you

put out into the world.  All that empty

lust in between the luminescence—porch light, street

light, star light—day to day.




J. P. Dancing Bear is the author of nine collections of poetry including, Inner Cities of Gulls (2010, Salmon Poetry). His tenth collection, Family of Marsupial Centaurs will be released by Iris Press in 2011. He is editor for the American Poetry Journal and Dream Horse Press and hosts the poetry show, Out of Our Minds, on KKUP and available as podcasts.


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