Jan 122010

by Timothy Martin                                                                                                                             


Churchill called it his “black dog.”  As did,

we read, both Johnson and Boswell

(which, to score it fairly, counts for the same voice).

For another, it was Sleeping Beauty (see:

the thorns asphyxiating the castle walls and

the deadening sleep, non-inclusive of a timely

prince with jumper-cable kisses).

To which I add my own, to name the strangeness

that interposes between us, keeping its own hours…

 It’s an elevator shaft for one, vulture of the heart,

garden where you go anvil-picking.

It’s your learner’s permit grave, cave with no clearance

for the rest of us, the ledge you fall from,

when we walking beside you had no inkling of the skyscraper.

 Quicksand in the parade’s path.  Houdini mystifying

by stepping into chains.  The wilderness where

you lie with a thousand snakebites, while I hold the map

upside-down by the fire, each stray boulder looking like the next.