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that old feeling

after Dinah Shore's performance of "That Old Feeling"

lovable losers
making their last attempts
at smiling wryly

as the fear of the empty room
steadily takes over the music

the sound of feet on
the creaky wooden floor

lonely losers
refilling their glasses
knowingly committing

an act of incongruence

(the glass
that stays unfinished

a momentary reminiscence of an emptiness
yet to arise

memories of vague shapes
familiar imprints

on a morning sofa
the sound of the last person
closing the door

leaving behind a moment

- the moment
a sense of a broken glass
and specks of dawns

reminding you
of tomorrow.

nothing but a zodiac of the mind's phantasms

it seems like nothing ever was - nothing ever
is; what we would like everything to be is absent
not frustration, but a form of spiritual dissonance
or absolute decay
the end is always near, we feel it in our memories
of empty rooms
narrow visions of how far the darkness extends
on a cold late-summer's night.

to reach for the stars' glimmer
in an act of undefinable grace
like setting a slipknot free
ensuring the dissonance that arises
somewhere between how far the stars
and how short your fingers

remains only in your memories
of a room once full -
a need for completion that

seeps to the rest of what you used
to call home.

re-writing burnside

(based on material from John Burnside's "Gift Songs")

a wavelength of owls, where everything is static
taken for a song
to continue alone
by something we ought to remember

and the grace notes of terror
and waking through clinker and ash, to recover a heartbeat

the part-song of cicadas
in our picturesque yard
of heroin and myrrh
before sinking again
loyal to his burden
while it was passing
bright in the here and now, unencumbered

that something might
between the river and a sky of bone
with a love beyond measure
and unable to run -
the here and now

that reaches from the light, to close, or open
first light and damson blue ad infinitum
and the night light, burning
turned to a farmer's sky

to the ocean
as nothing is, dug in and everlasting
the branches of yarrow, preserved in the leaves of a bible
footfall, leaf-fall, silence

stitching the grass with desire
to sound me out, to comfort me with nothing
to isolate this waking form the dark
the hum of an idling machine
emerging from the cold

learning to live as a guest in the house he inherits
the laughter of women; the music of midsummer's eve
a guttering flame, that nothing will ever extinguish
in lines of salt that might be infinite
the laughter of women; the music of midsummer mornings

a fire burning out on the rocks, that blind continuum
to the currents beyond
unbinding his logic, proposing some ancient joy
better than all he has lost, and beyond his keeping:
and dusted with nothing
becoming fingers, eyelids, shoulders, hair.

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