Caleb Puckett

The Pride of Judgment Possesses Your Smile
                              (Sonnet 62)

The pride of judgment possesses your smile,
And all your soul, and every moving part.
In your pleasantries there is such guile.
It is the very lifeblood of your heart.
I think no face so made-up as yours,
No shape so false, no aspect so studied.
And for your own purity your mind assures,
As I and all others are surely muddied.
But when the glass shows you yourself indeed,
Battered and hacked by decades of bigotry,
Your own self-love quite contrary you read;
A self so self-loving is mere trickery.
It is compensatory to assume your praise,
A means to deflect true discernment’s gaze.

Who Cares for Substance, How You Seem Made
                              (Sonnet 53)

Who cares for substance, how you seem made,
For you are but so many shadows in the end.
Since each man must fashion his own shade,
And you, like the others, have shadows to lend,
None stands alone, and all appear counterfeit,
A mass of suppositions that was never true.
So what of your presence once the sun has set,
Your form merges yet with the darkest hue.
Speak from obscurity, speak now most clear.
This presentation of self is just a show,
A performance given to ameliorate fear.
You are nothing if not every shape we know,
A catalog of each and every overcast part.
But you alone, you say, make it a brilliant art.

Haiku for a New Age

Porcine fucivore
Habitual abortion
404 fragment

A-frame torpedo
Tutelary deity
Grand mal machismo

I Ching abaser
Coincidence theorist
Landslide potty mouth

Caleb Puckett
has published several chapbooks and three book-length collections: Tales from the Hinterland (Otoliths, 2008), Market Street Exit (Otoliths, 2010), and Fate Lines/ Desire Lines (Mammoth Publications, 2014). Along with his writing, Puckett also edits the lit journal Futures Trading.
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