Stephen C. Middleton


Where nimble
Allow a dance

But humble
And selective
With the results
Neither exulting nor decrying
Too quickly

And also
To rise above the struggle
For a split second

Bask (for example) in fecund spring
For the blink of an eye
Sampling the scented air

Free-associate the day
With ghostly chimera

But mostly;
Where nimble
Allow a dance.

Gaps & Lapses (Or / and: Aging Autodidact)
(From: ‘Fragments of Unease (Depositions – with aphasia – after surgery)’)

Gaps & lapses
Or didn’t follow through
(An) autodidact’s blues again
Failing faculties
In pain & panic attacks

That split second dead reckoning
       (or)               high definition
The moments before the trail goes cold
Grow ever briefer
The iller
The older
You know how it / that goes

Short Term / Long (range) Forecast

Short term / it is shot
Mechanisms collapsing in action
Others rusty
Cannot grasp -
Or sentence lost mid-flow
As it is spoken
The word there only a moment ago                             
The panic, abyss opens
Options foreclosed
In an instant – not available
This is loneliness
Blunted cut & thrust
She waits – I flounder
Grim forecast / long lasting
Diminished lexicon

Trickster Topples the Props

Depression’s trickster
Topples the props
An autodidact’s building blocks
The brick-by-brick construct
That stopped the rot returning.


The headache is unfortunate. One needs to be lucid when pleading for mercy. But how lucid should one be in front of the tribunal? At this assessment, is less more / or…? Best guess / Fresh trauma.

Stephen C. Middleton is a writer working in London, England. He has had five books published, including A Brave Light (Stride) and Worlds of Pain / Shades of Grace (Poetry Salzburg). He has been in several anthologies, including Paging Doctor Jazz (Shoestring), From Hepworth’s Garden Out (Shearsman, 2010), & Yesterday's Music Today (Knives Forks And Spoons, 2015). For several years he was editor of Ostinato, a magazine of jazz and jazz related poetry, and The Tenormen Press. He has been in many magazines worldwide. He is currently working on projects (prose and poetry) relating to jazz, blues, politics, outsider (folk) art, mountain environments, and long-term illness.
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home