Wednesday, July 26, 2006
"Words With Pointy Little Backs"
By Robert Combs
Musty solitude has found me
here inside my secret place.
I wish someone would steal the sun
and wash the glitter from my face.
I can't think anymore,
my mind is narcotic mud and
all my precious words have turned their pointy little backs on me.
Those once compatriotic felons
who danced within the decades of my decadence have become my enemies
my trenchant limitations.
Fourth street pepper cup,
the label's in the black collar
standing in the street beside the taxi
spending my last dollar
for a warm pretzel of twisted logic
at the scene of the crime
Police tape and you are gone while
death came for me last night
like a great rumbling white bear
searching through the village
its mind set to enduring my soul's slaughter
but the bear born by a hungry clap of thunder
erupted into a painted cotton gunmetal cloud and
the rain began to speak to me,
each drop a separate severed word
its intercourse that of a pallid
discourse to the diatribe of fate
my fate hanging from the knotted
giant live oak limb it too covered
in gray-green moss
and death still came alone
in the bite of a lightning-colored snake
that split in the birth of two smaller red vipers
with tiny heads and tinier teeth
that stung but killed no more
for I was already dead about
to be reborn immortal
as you again
were there with the surprise and sadness
of one's own face served up
in the reflection of a store front window
on a cold damp night when lightning
struck the power pole across the street
and sparks fly and the night crackles with shivering electricity
sizzling in a sheet of clever air that entombs me.
Robert Combs is a single father living in Natchez, Mississippi. He has four daughters and four grandchildren. This poem emerged directly out of a dream.