A memory is a piece of information stored in our
brains, no more nor less important than the next.
very few people consciously can choose which
memories remain and which fade with time - so
what is this criteria, beyond our control, which
chooses for us which images we see? What fabric
in our subconscious allows some memories to pass
while others remain, vivid and bright as day?
Mom, Cathy, Trish, Jody.. .you all did this.
I was never supposed to love anything.
1. The Post Mortem
These strange corpses
preserved from decay are the
failed crumbling of honesty and
we'll keep them that way, these
memories under glass
where no air gets in
the suspension of the moment
hold no fear of gravity
not the way I do.
Etched into walls,
the hieroglyphs spell
a forgotten language of
ceremonies we once practiced;
pictures of canoes
still summer lakes that shimmer
shared swing chairs,
colors, change shapes,
until emotion becomes
a chameleon fallen
into muted abstractions
no longer able to describe
what was before or
what might come after.
Gilded now in it's unfaltering
pale motes of dust
the colored chalk outlines
of a stranger's shapeless fantasy
the myth ofwhat
can never happen again
may have never happened.
3. Dead Letter Office
Yellowed and dog eared
moments of a life that got
pressed between these pages; where
once love letters were sent
as easily as breathing
now only paper brittle to the touch
thinned under waves of time
those envelopes, weightless, backlogged
burden the back room shelves
where a raving attendant
at the front of the house
sure in her resolve
no longer believes answers
to such questions as;
Whose heart is this?
When did this happen?
Why did I stay?
Who did I leave?
How can I leave, again?
4. On Reflections
Tied together, bounds
of a spiral metal spine; are
thoughts encased in amber
dig for questions
painted only in form
the answers only secondary
in the process
of creating monsters
or justifying the pain
that selective ignorance
inflicts on truth-
this figure nailed to a cross
will utter anything
if no one else is listening.. .
5. There is No Hope For This Book
There is no hope for this book, it's
cloaked unceremonious dust
beneath my fingers.
There are no hopes for these words,
unable to build bridges
they'll fall away.
Canceled passages vain with time
This book lies to sell the truth
This book strives for
what it no longer believes.
There is no hope for this book
It creates romances only
from the elimination
This book dances in a mirror
all the while ignoring itself
cannot see his own blindness.
6. Photograph of a Statue or a Forest
It froze in place, that moment
slowing down until the shutter snapped;
when there was an understanding,
it was a commitment
this is how to remember-
Encased in porcelain
eyes looking forward, unblinking
at one unassailable future or past
that will never change
Hands at work, forming
this monument as
a rebellion against chaos
forming grains of sand
and dust against
their jagged will to fall away
and this is how to remember
driven to hold a moment
so that it never escapes
any eyes which behold it
after all names has been forgotten.
7. Words hidden in a Still Life
Words can fail
unborn with thoughts
homeless in rags
wounded in battle
shrouded by noise
hidden behind veils or
colorless blank sheets
shredded into bins
intentions held apart or
words can fail
to reach you
in every way but one.
8. How to Train Your Ghosts
It is you in the corner when I fail
because I have forgotten your name
I have replaced it with mine -
the sum of a remainder
come to haunt futures, passing
to and from moments
as wisps of smoke from embers
and if it's true I never saw you
here in these dusted mirrors
I can be sure this is your skin
these are your eyes
this is what you left behind
Everything that was mine to keep.. .
9. Writ on a Napkin in Montreal, 1992
If the stars really are empty husks
slowly falling in on themselves
the warm sun is then a myth felt
a fleeting afterthought to this, held.
How void any moment might be
without any fleeting light to see
given life by these dying sparks
filling the long spaces between dark
If a future is already cast and
in probable outcomes nothing lasts
was there more to it than endings?
What purpose then has that light sending
warm to my upturned face today
if only to be felt, never taken away
or borrowed in those moments of cold
when warmth and light are hard to hold
How meaningless one moment in light
when everything is meant to end in night
Every time I close my eyes
it's belief that holds you there in the sky.
The truth is a j igsaw, jagged edged
and fragments are something broken
or not put together yet-
Memory as an abbreviation
or an accusation
still was what it was, if
lacking contingency or context.
Answers are mosaics often
built rough with scraps of experience
seldom without drafts.
Memory is a butterfly
entombed under glass
suggesting flight but
preserved without life;
colors in a vacuum never fade.
These Poems appear as a prequel to the
forthcoming full length Amazon.com release
"Notebooks" and are meant to stand alone as both
a precursor to the book and as a section under the
same title - while they will not be included with
the book, they are intended to compliment the
subject matter. For more information, and
downloads, please visit issuu,com/jeffc.