Lifelong I have walked in sole-bare shoes,
With the trapdoor of my thoughts
I am going through,
Like an inverse Damoclean sword,
Like a parapet above a bamboo pit,
Each stake sharpened
By your silence as wide
As a black hole’s gingival abscess
Or a behemoth’s grin.

I walk with a shadow
Owned by self-sabotaging indiscipline,
Infrequent in me, your company,
I trod the floorboards while you
Flossed your wolfbane teeth
With cider-froth and

Only lately,
That lateral door’s secured
By love,
A love that endures
Longer and more fast set
Than a Trappist’s bloodstone whetting,
More than the Gordian knot
Where once we tied to dogwood
In this self-same moment
An ageing satrap’s ox;
And I, my love,
I will no longer drop.

One thought on “Damoclean

  1. (Whenever I respond to a poem of yours, I really put myself out there for my wordiness but mostly for my interpretations that are probably waaaaaaaaaayy off base, lol, but I am aware that I tend to be an outlier in most things, and I will practice what I preach to my students: you can see whatever you want in the ink blots of poetry…)

    First of all, so very beautiful! ❤

    Secondly, there is no such thing as one read of your poems, as there is so much to unwrap and enjoy, layer by metaphoric layer. I very much enjoy your allusions, especially the Damoclean sword in this case, combined with all the other imagery that makes the reader feel sooooo uncomfortable and on l/edge and unrelaxed! What a terrible existence!…on top of being a shadow-befriended loner/outcast–internally, externally, or both; I hate the antagonists (except the narrator him/herself, of course)!

    Right off the bat, the sole-bare shoes drew me in. At first I thought the narrator was just fated to feeling his surroundings more acutely than others, but after trodding the floorboards (which for some reason called to mind “The Yellow Wallpaper” type of pacing), I thought they were worn down from overuse and/or time. In any event, I just wish for someone to keep guard (from himself especially) and let the narrator try to know one night of peaceful rest!

    Then, I had to revisit it all to just keep reciting it because the sound devices employed are sooo delightful despite the unpleasant tone words. I would loooovvve to hear you recite this one, if ever I had a pick, especially with the tone shift and profound ending.

    Your poems are always worthy of whole-paper analyses! It’s so hard to keep it “short!”

    Liked by 1 person

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