Saturday, December 24, 2011

New Poetry by Phillip Ellis

"Not a Sonnet about Frank O'Hara's Reginald Grundies"

If I could be a single thing
in all the world of single things,
and be a single thing forgotten,
uncelebrated, then, I guess
I'd rather be O'Hara's jockstrap.
And not the first, and not the last,
the one before the very last.

Imagine: I would formfit, snug,
but not so snug I cut the blood off,
and give him comfort and support
and confidence that all his skidmarks
stayed on my surface, not his trousers,
and then, placed scrunched upon the washing,
I'd be fulfilled, my task complete.


"Gordian Knots"

How fortunate is he
who can breathe and read
the breadth of an ode
sinking within, the ice
of a glacier gouging
high, hanging valleys
into a mountain range.

How fortunate is she
who can breathe and read
the sunlight-sharp sonnet,
singing of mysteries
embodied in a gold-bright
moment, the mysteries
of the moment made magick.

And fortunate are they
who can breathe and read
a pantoum poured into
shape, beaten and quenched,
fired and beaten
and quenched, until
the form is bright like lightning.

For the poem is no
gentle thing, when it seizes
the dawn, or the dusk
or soft night, and brightens
with the glare of seven swords
cutting the Gordian knots
of our minds.


"Name me, I Die"

I am the sound of my name,
bounded by sound. I grate,
because my nerves and senses swell
by gods' decrees.
Thoughts of welcome verses
clot like cream;
I dream of burning,
meaningless words
and no answers.

If you speak, I die.
Release my name
to both worst and best
in their vain quest for flight
from the burdens of time.

Name me, I die.

- Phillip Ellis 2011

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