Tom Beckett

Don’t look
at Medusa.

She’ll make
you hard.


The Chorus
starts chanting:


don’t be
a pussy.

Don’t be
a pussy…”


Medusa sees
herself in

his defenses.

And gives
him head.


Mad Sue,

You made
us. Our

I mean…

Know what
I’m saying?

Love, Piercy.


Dear Pursey,

Usually your
speech resembles

white noise:
The hissing

which follows
me wherever

I go.

Ma Dues


Medusa’s sisters
are hot

goddesses, really.

Medusa’s human —
all too.

She’s toothsome,
but noumenal.


P’s Mom’s
golden showers

a part
of family

lore that’s
best forgot.



Sometimes myself,
sometimes others

see you
in me:

The fossil
record of

your qualities
and expressions.




You are
not me

because I
swallowed you.




To Be Determined

The face of contingency.

How the future will fill in our blanks.

Not interested in explaining myself to myself for you.

Not going to perform Stupid Poet Tricks.

There are gaps I can’t parse.

All the distorted mirroring and projection going on: truly exhausting.

Determined to begin again. Renewed. Naked all over again.

Dubious about what’s ahead, conflicted about what’s behind. Even though my ass once thought my best feature.

Every name in history is I. Well, not me — I’m not every name in history. Every human name in history was an I. That’s all.

Somewhere within the compost of pronouns.

The President thinks on its feet. Off the cuff. Likes to improvise. Something to think about, in itself. The pitfalls and pratfalls consequent to being less than studiously unprepared. Something which poets and comedians know quite a bit about.

Of course, the larger problem for the Prez is that the son of a bitch is always lying. Whether it needs to or not. So, there’s that.

Try to see from within a compost of eyes.

One moment opens into another. All times coexist in ways difficult to parse. Surfaces melt into surfaces, skins into other skins, creating depths and palimpsests.

Angry father, bully on the school bus, violent bigot cop on its beat, the President’s thugs brutalize a crowd of demonstrators for a photo op.

“Importance” and “impotence” — near homonyms.

Tom Beckett lives and writes in Kent, Ohio.
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