John C. Goodman

waters of discontent

                the piano
                               there is
                                              a door

a door to shadows and depths beyond ken

darkness is not the same as absence of light

a door between deserts
                there in the swirling truth
                               of the dream

a hand reaches from the ink
                narrow eyes
                               piercing teeth
                                              padding silently through the night

in the turmoil of a shipwreck
                in the jade deep
                               in the gasping grasping

clinging to mountain sides
                a storm of sun
                angular momentum of snow drifts

and when the grip can no longer hold
                the long fall into a short future

dip an oar
                into the waters of discontent
and sing happy birthday to the dead

time enough

why is there not enough time?
                no time to read no time to write no time to talk no time to sleep
                               clocks suck all the time from our lives
                                              leaving only memories of moments
                                                             and things undone

                As a child I tried to catch dragonflies
                With nets and hands and honeyed sticks.
                Always they managed to elude me.
                Today I sat quietly by the South Shore Trail.
                A dragonfly came and rested on my knee.

several layers of life flow beneath the layer of love
                the blood that is deepest reddest

there is no one to tell us what to do
                when things fail

“pick yourself up start again don’t give up make an effort
when one door closes another one opens”

when one door closes another slams shut
                               and another
                                                             and another

slipping away
                down mindless corridors
                               of inevitable accusations

claustrophobic chainsaws
                reacting to idiosyncratic parasols
                               in adamant closets

in the end

infinite in time and special orientation
                infinite in the stretch of activity
                               limitless in our ability to screw up
and make things worse

                Buster the black Lab
                slipped his leash
                and danced off to find the world
                returning amid shouts of angry neighbours
                red geranium petals
                to his black fur

it’s a long road
                from morning to night
                from night to dawn
                from slime mold to locomotives

but it all comes out the same in the end:
                – huh?

John C. Goodman is a Canadian writer and Pushcart Prize nominee. He has published four collections of poetry as well as a novella and a novel (which was short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award). John is the past editor of ditch, (www.ditchpoetry.com), an online magazine of experimental poetry and is the current editor of Trainwreck Press (www.trainwreckpress.com).
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