Pawing around the yard, chopping stump-roots, raising stone
Nighttime closes in, opens out, making me part of a huge
Fortunately, morning will re-energize me with wild projects,
righting the sagging gates I made last year, writing poems
deep into other people's poems, like this one, training the
Flows and turns like water, my mood, scratching back at the
Leaping around my to-do list squelches, or is, self-destruction.
Rows and columns, my grid of duties, teasing me with
success might lie in following through; contrarily, I
Sounds familiar?—or possibly sloppy, even despicable.
Awkwardness of this confession: I want to speak what you
Popularity promises lots to the one Rose of the Year.
Roundness and completeness are what I seek, not sloth and chubbiness—
are not what I end up with, soft and pudgy, over-ripening.
NOT MEAT NOR DRINK
Drinking too heavily? Things out of control?
Skies always gray,
rainy yesterday, today, day after day? Have dizziness,
sinking and fainting spells, petit mal, maybe?
Gaining, even though you're exercising? Frequently
Breaths sound like panting? Confused what to
wear? Am I getting close?
Bone-tired, bone-heavy, locking joints, it's like you're
Death starting to sound pleasant? How often do you
have these thoughts?
Alone for breakfast, and for supper? Can you name the
Hours seeming longer than they did? Days blurring?
Ringing in your ears?
Release Me From This Vale of Tears the prayer you're muttering? No
power to change, no will power, nothing you need? I'm
Peace, real true inner peace, not even a memory?
Food too greasy, sunlight too hot, clothes itchy, you just
can't stand it?
Would you go with me to the park? Is there someone you
David McAleavey is a Professor of English at George Washington University. His most recent book, his fifth, is Huge Haiku (Chax Press, 2005). He has recent work in Full Moon on K Street (Plan B Press, 2010), as well as in The Broadkill Review, The Portable Boog Reader, and Divine Dirt Quarterly. He has work forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Poetry Northwest, Hubbub, Poet Lore, and Connecticut Review, among other places.