Poetry: Selections from M.P. Powers

Sunrise Over Montmartre Cemetery

I am wearing the murdered clothing
of last night, my hands are cold, my feet
    sore and I'm standing over
the mossy tomb of monsieur
nobody knows. apparently, he was
a field general in some lofty battle.
apparently, he had affairs, countless
insidious nights on the boulevard rochechouart,
a peculiar way of tapping his cane
to make the pigeons scatter.
monsieur somebody
    means nothing
to me, but as I stand over his grave
in the murdered clothes of last night,
   the rivulet of sunlight pouring into
   my shirt
reminds me I am.

the cynic from sinope

who plato called socrates
gone mad knew nothing of muscle
cars neckties e-cigarettes
facebook 3D printing
he lived in a tub
in the streets of athens sans mortgage
wife vanity shame
scoffing at fools and wars roaming
the city with a lamp
in search of the honest man
he knew he’d never find
if I had to be anyone else
it should be diogenes, said alexander
the great
cynic minimalist rogue
my favorite story about diogenes
was when he went to a rich man’s home
and after noticing all the elaborate
furnishings the egyptian cotton
camel’s hair carpets the immaculate
gleaming floors
spit in that man’s face
because he had to spit
and his face
was the dirtiest place
in the house

The Gingerbread Lady
Seventy years old, thick mane of golden
dreadlocks, cataclysmic gray eyes.
Most days she can be seen
toddling along
the Landwerkanal in knee-high
green suede boots
and her pinkish Christmas jacket with bells.
Even in summer,
she dresses like an elf.
But the people here have gotten used to her.
They regard her much
as they do that strange hunk
of Avant garde art moored in Görlitzer Park -
a charming ornament
the local scenery.

Waiting Room
All morning, I have been sitting in this cold-
blooded purgatory, the people around me
wheezing, hacking, ogling out of big
sadfish eyes. I try not to get caught by the
eyes. I try instead to focus on my book,
but the novel I am reading, despite being
a so-called literary masterpiece, is sapless,
antiquated, insufferably long-winded. I put
it aside and look up at the Van Gogh reproduction
on the wall: stale blue irises trapped in a cheap
plastic frame. Even those can’t survive this room.
They are like us patients, withering amid
the stench of hydrogen sulphide and cleaning
agents, guttering florescent light
and the only music this place can know: the droning
of a patient monitor backed by the harsh
percussive beat of an offkey defibrillator.

Garden Gnome      
Ankles and wrists bound, kidney thrashed
by molten rock and porcupine quills, nerves shattered into broken glass, I hang upside-down
in a garden of Carrara marble
and long-stemmed gray lilacs,
the sun pouring fire through the trees, the windswept voice
of some French-speaking Polynesian
like a pigeon’s feather caressing me.
I spin myself round, the sky whirling
with clouds in the shape of dragons and golden-rose,
the moon a polished shell ascending
in an aria
of tremulous
early morning blue.
It’s the dawn of Spring, the dawn of Chant music
and second chances,
of agony engendering
acacias and the fall of Carina.
It’s the dawn of gargoyles
and Priapusin the garden,
upright now and unbounded
and serving as my protector.
I will stay here in hell and paint its pictures.

M.P. Powers is the author of Fortuna Berlin and Hallucinogenic Dragonfly Intermezzo. Recent publications include the Columbia Review, Wrongdoing Magazine, Glitchwords, Mayday Magazine, and others. His artwork can be found on Instagram.


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