Three Poems

by Joan McNerney



the kitchen sits

in fruit soup…

steamed apricot

mango shadow

down thru spinning

smoke into hot light

blink beat

body ends dangle

lead eye skin cement

high on tongue

night pasted among

buildings Styrofoam clouds

moon hung beneath billboard

rolling pass wet

rocked streets

soul tramp

diamond panhandlers watch

paper birds slices of

the daily news drift in air

comes cool ether

whispers up door

climbing dusty corridor

tree windows lapping lisp

door slams again noise again

then none void nothing syncopates

noise again door slams tree bare frozen

caught in the image of 7 candles

within 7 candles flames of air

7 light bulbs growing out of each other

7 silver circles coined from 7 silver rings

clear as blazing sheets

of glass yet

vague as dust

an ice cube on wood table

in front of crushed velvet




when this sky now boiling with

stars is strapped black

in pinched air thru sucked mind

swimming pass spaced time

will be one silent

note up.


Sneaks under shadows lurking

in corners ready to rear its head

folded in neat lab reports charting

white blood cells over edge running wild.

Or hiding along icy roads when

day ends with sea gulls squalling

through steel grey skies.

Brake belts wheeze and whine

snapping apart careening us

against the long cold night.

Official white envelopes stuffed with

subpoenas wait at the mailbox.

Memories of hot words burning

razor blades slash across our faces.

Fires leap from rooms where twisted

wires dance like miniature skeletons.

We stand apart inhaling this mean

air choking on our own breath.

Eleventh Hour

Wrapped in darkness we can

no longer deceive ourselves.

Our smiling masks float away.

We snake here, there

from one side to another.

How many times do we rip off

blankets only to claw more on?

Listening to zzzzzz of traffic,

mumble of freight trains, fog horns.

Listening to wheezing,

feeling muscles throb.

How can we find comfort?

Say same word over and over

again again falling falling to sleep.

I will stop measuring what was lost.

I will become brave.

Let slumber come covering me.

Let my mouth droop, fingers tingle.

Wishing something cool…soft…sweet.

Now I will curl like a fetus

gathering into myself

hoping to awake new born.

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Camel Saloon, Blueline, Poppy Road Review, Spectrum, Three Bright Hill Press anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Press publications. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net.

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