halibut and biscuits,
cigarette smoke, coffee, and CNN,
33rd street, stench of concrete, air, and light.
chatter, banter, screams, and sniffles in concordance.
without all of this I am naked and afraid;
unless time replaces
thehalibut and biscuits;
cigarette smoke, coffee, and CNN;
chatter, banter, screams, and sniffles in concordance;
with sardines and lead;
alabaster, mold, piss and PBS;
dirt covered streets, stench of bible,
dark heavy long prayers;old songs; dances and tears.
with all of this,
I am closer than you think.
Pomp and Circumstance
tailored sheepskin stretched over marble mantel
held in glory dipped in underemployed
deposits of faith
dangling like broken ice caps
in Malta’s mist.
all too familiar fancy humdrum lending to classic routine.
students hold my worth
of golden mulch,
rendering utility without honor.
able and motivated to help those in need
but blood stains the classroom floor as soon as I speak.
masts of your shattered boats corrode the winds
centuries slice decades into cedar blocks,
all for the sake of caprice.
heroin laced dollar bills
laughing at my ceremonious salary.
a preceptor adorned with degrees
but held in rime,
like fruit flies in melting
jostling wheezing in cobalt skin
eyes wet tinted red
at the new brilliant glistening white
waving with concern
as blue flames tickle my worn broken flaccid feet.
The Broken Record
crosshatched botched layered alms;
pink with gray tops doused in lavender wine,
holsters plaid with turquoise leaves swaying like musk
in hypnotic sway.
I never saw my etchings.
they were never planned as my songs.
though my work has pinned me against this bark,
in fulsome dark welding plats,
my feet hold still in the muck of the rain;
while the alms in hand melt into skin
dying with recourse relayed to an etching
of yet another Dorian Gray.
A Lover of Divorced Memories
in the sullen valley of perdition’s atavistic ovum
we find nonsense catering to the wiles
of a lunar mind.
a growing glow masticating in the neon purple drag
of careful lakes; stolid cries,
of children too bright to be happy,
and mawkish men over the age of 85
thriving in imagination personified.
the lie of youth
as a hope interwoven with boldness,
it flies high only for a time
yet all I say is a mesh
of weary breath bleeding gray in winter’s rage.
so what of my words?
my thoughts in horizontal rows,
what of my sayings?
my devolving poetry,
if you loved another bard resting
in a gothic cemetery
circumfused with yellow mums
with savory ash and slick black lakes
touched with the feet of grey swans
with the love of remembrance;
say something I can feel;
lest you forget my life after life
within the bellowing beats of your own
75 years of life;
all but a moment,
decaying teeth uneven, lateral yet everywhere;
in the open sea of observers
trying to defuse words.
repulsed facial expressions
contorted smiles and frowns
immersed with contour lines
map-like with no legend
you see me
the scent of older old spice
white hairs meandering in darker ones.
sullen eyes beaten
by the apathetic disappointments of life.
a marriage of 50 years,
now a memory
at Mendicant’s cemetery,
in fragile oak picture frames,
like fried eggs smothered in aged black pepper
or foul smells like
memories of helpless arguments
about why I rarely said
“I love you”
and why you said “not tonight”
more than “whatever you want is fine with me”.
but now my sands have slid down into dirt,
and whatever you want
above my cracked yellow bones
is fine and dandy
in dreary deed
as I beg and plead
for the life of
Dr. Ernest Williamson has published creative work in numerous journals including The Oklahoma Review, Review Americana: A Creative Writing Journal, The Columbia Review, The GW Review, New England Review; and The Tulane Review. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of English at Allen University