20180220

Seth Howard


COFFEE IN THE AFTERNOON

Our day begins with a breath,
a window hangs there, suspended.
& a gate opens, amidst the
grey light, the trials that linger

in the evening. Fuller now,
a size larger. Birds float across
the canvas, streaked with
red, & purple pigments of a

life. A dream, the curtains drift,
& a question remains. This is
not a decision you need to make
immediately
, you hear a man

say, over the phone. A woman
enters your life, the intervals of
silence between her steps, you
hear the tap of her heels upon the

pavement. Morning begins,
you wash your face, make
coffee, & listen. New possibilities
arise in solitude. You had

sensed a presence. Silence
breathes, an animal in the
afternoon, & you wonder if it
will be alright. A light floats

somewhere distant, & you re-
turn to where the rivers snake
through the sky. A snowfall
encloses you. We begin again.

Here, as night submerges,
the quixotic drive that leads
you into new experience.
No, you were not like them.



DREAM SEQUENCE

Light slips through the
blinds. This moment
we exist, & become
who we always were.

I swivel my chair, then
back into place. We
engage in a lucid trial
through labyrinths.

Falling through the air,
a snowflake floats
into your glass, & time
retraces its steps.

This moment we live,
the full range of our existence.
Driven into shadows
by the they, at last we

know who we are. I
felt her presence nearby,
her footsteps liquid
bells that ring in the

night. This unfiltered
existence in which
we dream. The stages
slip silently by. Who

is to tell us who we
are to be? It seems
we will be hearing
from the fake court!

Until a silence sets in,
you no longer listen
to their words. Birds
drift over the skyline.



MID-WINTER THOUGHTS

In the slow return to who
I am, I see the world
suddenly a stranger.
The folds in his coat

are filled with snow, & his
glassy eye is the color
of sunsets. I leaf through a few
notes

so that I may remember.
I try again, as if to rule
out some last possibility.
A scream

in the night, books
falling from high shelves.
His eye the color of
sunrise.

I drew from my wallet
a greenish coin. &
waited for an intimation,
an event

that would lead me
from this stasis.
The moon is brilliant,
& time is forgetting.

I see the world suddenly
a stranger, & his
footsteps distant
pools

that drift off somewhere.
His eye searches,
& snow falls in his
glass.



A SHARED ROOM

We listen for a whisper
in the dark. Day
has changed us into
something feral.

The night trials that
translate our broken
speech. The cafés
where we find a life.

I sip my IPA, sit
motionless in the
evenings, & wait
for her answer.

A newspaper in the
wind. I see it float
through the streets,
& we are not alone.

We return home.
A faint lucence,
a coin in the darkness.
I listen for a sign.

Silt syphons from
striations in the sky.
We live within the
interior. The quiet

mornings, in which
coffee drips. An
essay on Baudelaire.
The words burn

away. Cautious
of it, patient as the
moon vanishes
behind the clouds.




Seth Howard is the author of two chapbooks: Out of the East, & Waters from a Well. His work has appeared in Otoliths, BlazeVOX [books], unarmed journal, Big Hammer, Oddball Magazine, Chronogram, Saudade, Elephant, & elsewhere. He hosted the Poetry Open Mic at the Washington Street Coffee House for a year, where he shared much of his own work, & has done several featured readings in local bookstores. He graduated from the University of Connecticut, & studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo for three years. In his spare time, he enjoys the practice of Zazen, watches K-drama, & co-edits CAPSULE Magazine. He currently resides in New London.
 
 
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