the narcissists pet

June 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

having elevated
to the point
of becoming
the epitome
of epitome
he collapsed
into himself
as his ever
faithful dog
left nose marks
on the window
for gravity to
reverse itself
in a super nova
of humility
and shame

(c) 2013 Fred Whitehead

the screen

June 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

he constructed a screen
so that
behind it
he could have a place to go
to count all of the things
he believed
were stolen from him
columns filled up,
hash marks
marched in formation
across sweat christened pages
when he did take the time to
peek over the edge
of the barrier
men would ignore his rantings,
the women,
he swore,
only raised reminders
of promises not kept
and the children of the town,
taking advantage of
would sneak behind the screen
to erase a mark or two
from his glorious ledger –
effectively robbing from him,
all over again,
that which was
not robbed
to begin with

(c) 2013 Fred Whitehead

the tragedy

June 27, 2013 § 1 Comment

the tragedy
of it all
you see
despite all of our well
meaning intentions,
it is nearly
impossible to posses this, he said,
raising a rose with his right hand,
without sometimes
dealing with this, he added,
the knife used in its harvest
with his left,
the face of
reflected along
much used

(c) 2013 Fred Whitehead


June 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

I sway to childhood songs
just below the surface
of all my other thoughts, and
on nights like this,
after having done little
more than merely exist,
the exhaustion
is difficult to explain

I suppose I could attribute it
to the rise
in temperature and humidity
combined with a lack
of air conditioning
but, I think it is more
directly linked to
becoming comfortable with
the lethargy that used to
make me so irate

it is inevitable, some say,
the natural path
to dust or fossilization
and, truth is, I see it

I see it in old women
who have reduced their worlds
to a manageable size –
a kitchen, a couch,
a small garden
just a step or two from the porch

or in ancient men
occupying benches
by the library
rubbing their heads
in remembered worry while
reverting slowly to infancy
rocking also
to lullabies that
can only be
their own

(c) 2013 Fred Whitehead

the forgotten joke

June 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

I am shackled
to a comet called time
reaching for nebulae
renaming stars

so that is why I forgot
to tell you the one
about the ring tailed lemur
and the wood duck
and how they, one foggy
West End afternoon,
walked into a bar

(c) Fred Whitehead

the prince of pessimism

June 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

he bears
the imprint
of the misbegotten

the mark
glowing in the middle of his
fret trenched brow
drawing the easily lost
unto him

when he speaks
his words, a weir in
the river of enlightenment,
trap inspirational

the only ones to understand
are those like himself
or those
who will be

as his floodplain
layer upon layer
of discharged,
twisted souls

thick on
the path,
pile dark
in the delta of suffering

(c) 2013 Fred Whitehead

the conclusion of that not told

June 22, 2013 § 2 Comments

the part of the story
left out, dispatched tendrils
to find fertile ground – waiting
to be found

breaking careful surface
bloom sinfully ecstatic stamen
for un-redacted pollinator

this is the future:
• message transmitted •

(c) 2013 Fred Whitehead


June 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

stoic, the way she
acquiesced to suffering

elevating the metaphor
of silence wedded to chaos

the room was transported
beyond reason

she remained –
the body of such

(c) 2013 Fred Whitehead

a story on Father’s Day

June 17, 2013 § 2 Comments

the segue in his
story didn’t
make a whole lot of sense
going from how he
finally got the big northern
he’d been trying to get
all summer,
out of the slow creek below
the cabin, to
the time John, Bill and him
drank their way from
West Memphis to Truman
before turning
his ’49 Ford
over in a ditch
but, I didn’t care how
these tales were stitched together
I had heard them before
this time, however I listened
and I knew that
one day the fog will leave
the eyes of my children
as I carry on, I will see them
smiling at the embellishments
and filling in the spaces-
expanding family lore

(c) 2013 Fred Whitehead

three blues

June 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

three blues

a soft contingent of
slate hued yesterday’s curled
up inside my chest

they just don’t build blue
like this anymore
so I do believe I’ll
hang on to
it for a bit longer

it was this morning
when despair wiped
his feet on the mat
took off his hat and
nodded a cordial nod
I remembered that familiar smile
and tell me,
has an eye ever
reflected the slow blue
pulse of sorrow
like that
I don’t think one ever has

(c) 2013 Fred Whitehead

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