Tag Archives: free verse

Poetry: Tear It Down

We find out the heart only by dismantling what
the heart knows. By redefining the morning,
we find a morning that comes just after darkness.
We can break through marriage into marriage.
By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond
affection and wade mouth-deep into love.
We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.
But going back toward childhood will not help.
The village is not better than Pittsburgh.
Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.
Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound
of racoon tongues licking the inside walls
of the garbage tub is more than the stir
of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not
enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.
We should insist while there is still time. We must
eat through the wildness of her sweet body already
in our bed to reach the body within the body.

-Jack Gilbert

Reading Kierkegaard at the Bar

I am practicing exercises in futility.
I call it hope.

At the bottom of this beer,
drunk becomes Enlightenment.
It will this time.
The stool will stop quivering
rippling tsunamis to my thighs.

The ice cubes invited themselves
to this party, but they can’t tell
a good lie. They look like a priest
I once knew.

The corners of the bar look like God
right angle perfection. My fingers,
bell curve or parabola
depending on the glass. Mismatched.

There is an infinite qualitative difference
between the desire to sit on a bar stool
and the feeling of your ass two hours later.

I am as lucid as the waitress’s open pockets.
I have exact change. I know grace
when it catches me by the throat
and refuses to kill me. This is why
I come to the bar. Alone.

I have all the fear and trembling
and drowning has never been
so difficult. The floor, the only
leap of faith I cannot make.

I found God in apron pockets. Not hers.
Never looked, just felt. Just fought the urge
to hide behind the potted palm
beside the ladies’ room all night,

sipping the glass half-full
tucked between the corner
and the plant.

-Hilary Kobernick, Paper Nautilus


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