James H. Duncan

2012/11/05 § Leave a comment

On the themes of Other Lovers and How We Fall Out of Love

help me drown the moonlight

you remember when we held bottles of wine
and roamed the streets like mad escaped
prisoners during that December blackout?
you were drunk for the first time and said
‘I love you, Alec’ and I turned to you
thinking, rather knowing, my name
wasn’t Alec, and I told myself, ‘why start an argument
with the night so young,’ and besides, most
wives make such mistakes now and again, right?

(previously published in Red Fez, June 2010)

You love to count the rings when they’re dead

when it’s everything you hate reeling through
the trees, and you realize the trees are living
breathing dying follicles within, deep within;
that’s when you think of sawing them all away

take all their words, all their parchments and
burn them in the moonlight canister of white
flame and water, all their words and thoughts;
what they say means nothing—mute diatrites

the doorknobs are the devil’s work, and audio
the same, unless the wind really means what
it says in the middle of its sigh, but careful,
don’t go imagining yourself a martyr just yet

everyone is alone screaming through the crowds
speaking shouting barking cooing begging you
to look and see them shake the world like gods, but
no one hears a thing as mouths work like dying fish

only their hate and love edge by silently to do their
work somewhere else, deep within, horizons away;
our etchings capture nothing, our voices crack like
the sidewalks we destroy for new sidewalks infinite

the words we see mean something less, more and more
each day, more and more each death, as branches break
and rot and the wind picks up as the sun races to the grave;
the trees don’t grow back, just moan under our dead weight

Author Biography

James H Duncan lives in New York City and is the founder of Hobo Camp Review, an online literary ‘zine dedicated to the traveling word. A Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee, his poetry and short stories have found homes in dozens of publications, including Pulp Modern, Apt, Red Fez, Haggard & Halloo, Reed Magazine, and Poetry Salzburg Review. His new full-length collection, Dealing With The Devil In The Middle Of The Road, is now available—details at http://jameshduncan.blogspot.com.

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