Poetry: Selections from RC deWinter

induration

 

  i can feel
myself starting not
to feel   i'm
congealing
  unmoved by all emotion
the beauty and the

ugliness
of what it is to
be alive
  veins filling
with sand   the tasteless grit of
nonexistence   deaf

and dumb but
not blind   eyes open
  recording
everything
but unable to react
  to feel   stone breathing




after

 

there will be no more waiting
all the deep amazing gorgeous is dead

slain by monsters that never satisfied
have broken the slender branch leafed out

in the green of promise
left with nothing but your eyes

smiling at me from some other dimension

i too am broken

a castaway on an empty shore stretching out from now

to the place where the clock stops

who i am without you doesn't exist except in fiction
there is not enough ink to write that story




Conduit


In deepest sleep I found a tunnel
begging to be explored,
its darkness calling in an urgent voice,
an invitation to what I couldn't know
without accepting.
Intrigued, I dreamwalked into that long corridor
without a lantern, fearless all the same.
At the end was the clich├ęd light,

illuminating a silhouette:
a man in black, stockstill and silent
as a locked cathedral or an empty bed.
Unafraid I walked in shadowed gloom,
curious to know what stranger waited there.
When standing at arm’s length
I felt no fear and moving closer knew
what called me to that end.
And though I'd never looked into those eyes,
or kissed that gently trembling waiting mouth,
I knew without a flicker of surprise

it was you,

was always you,

will always be.




jazz for one and done

 

waking up slow

but always with that thump

the stone of anxiety

plummeting from my chest

to the bottom of my stomach

getting up

i jump right onto the treadmill

the one that dominates my days

with the regularity of familiar dissonance

sometimes i say the hell with it

and take a break

but soon those tom-toms

kick back in

work

work

you have work to do

and i know if ignore the warning

i’ll be buried under a blizzard

of unmet obligations tomorrow

back to the treadmill

trying little tricks of imagination

to fool myself into thinking what i’m doing

has any meaning at all

stringing it out

a melodic tease for the mind

and i ramp it up

a little chaotic now

but i’m hitting a stride

that pulls me through

until at last

i can dial it down to what’s essential

i need to break this mess

into a whole new rhythm

compose a new score

that resolves into a smooth coda

i can sleep on




flesh of fruit


i'm supposed to be writing
about a mural of flowers and fruit
but you keep getting in the way

those delicate daisies
remind me of when
you strewed our bed with petals
before throwing me on it
and taking me places i had never been


with that memory crowding my mind
there's not a lot to be said
about old-fashioned flowers

painted on a wall

i look at the pear
all smooth golden brown
and see you
with your summerkissed skin
lying curved in invitation
waiting for me to slide next to you
and align myself with your geometry


i remember the tang of you
so much for the pear
the idea of fruit has lost its savor

the raspberries become your nipples
all swollen uneven and firm
after my fingers have played
a tattoo on your chest
and my tongue has caressed them
gentle at first and then greedy
because you moan in the key of desire

 

and that kills the relevance

of seedy orbs

perched on itchy leaves

no matter how juicy


as for the plums
i can't even go there
that'd be giving away far too much
that nobody but us
has any business knowing

and now that you've ruined my concentration
on the subject at hand
i close my journal
throw my pen at the wall
and ready or not
here i come






RC deWinter’s poetry is widely anthologized, notably in New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2/2017),  Coffin Bell Two (Coffin Bell, 1/2019) The Connecticut Shakespeare Festival Anthology (River Bend Bookshop Press, 12/2021), New Contexts: 3 (Coverstory Books, April 2022) in print: 2River, Crossroads, Event, Gargoyle Magazine, Genre Urban Arts, Meat For Tea: The Valley Review, the minnesota review, Night Picnic Journal, Plainsongs, Poetry South, Prairie Schooner, The Seventh Quarry Magazine, Southword, The Frogmore Papers, The Main Street Rag, The Ogham Stone, Variant Literature, York Literary Review among many others and appears in numerous online literary journals. 

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