My Twin


I eat for the sake of tactile sensation,

imitating my own explanation of life.

The moon hastens into oblivion.

I am not simply a matter of making

myself think but of getting my mind to hide my

thoughts so that my private ideas grow

as unpredictable as a squall. 

Whether I am awake or asleep I inhabit

a sea storm.  Love is the art of ultimatum.

A man lives quietly or with a woman bouncing

around like a wave.  Unlike respectability, impulse

is an honest master.  The tasks of anger and lust

row against the current of better judgment

like the sickening need for fame.  I want to hear

my voice as it is heard.  My twin

is the sperm whale, who feeds on giant squid.

The sun shines through fathoms of green ocean.

I seek myself wherever I go,

hunting my prey through villages and cities

and countrysides, looking for the light

of the world.




Thunder Storm


The wind sucks the stench from a field

of potatoes rotten and ruined at the roots.

Sometimes I wonder whether I would

cross my name out of the dirt for a richer harvest

or a reunion of hands.  The storm that washes

away the topsoil keeps its sound within me

deeper than pain driven home with a whip.

The sunlight gives my eyes a corrective bath.

The rain rocks all my reasons to live a gardened

life.  All my homemade torture devices stick

my voice to a point of contention.  I sacrifice

each of my dry hairs to watch the farm flood, to see

all my work go to waste.  The chickens dont mind

the showers and the lightening.  This is any other

barnyard day in which the violence of God

cools off the land.






I pride myself on the kin I have never met,

the judgment I have never made, the hands

I have never shaken.  The wind that rocks

me through winter is cousin to my first wish.

My misery becomes son to every smile I see.

My skin colors a story of snow.  My mind

is the shade and splendor of December occurring

to my town, to my pale and freckled face,

to the eyes that meet mine, relative and close. 

I long to see myself in a crowd, my farmers tan

growing old and wrinkled, all the other people

in town drifting in a standing sleep.




Entering Life


Myth is the way we enter life

and the way we leave it.  It is the way

we settle our heads on pillows, the way

we file sincerity away with speculation,

so that all may see the smiles we try

to keep to ourselves.  You unbutton

your dress in our bedroom, reaching

the end of yourself and the miles youve

traveled.  I appreciate the way your breath

expands throughout space.  You

occupy the whole house.  Our home

is the take-home pay that purchases

souvenirs from each state.

All we do is concentrate on trinkets. 

When we turn off the lights

and begin our careful descent

you to your hut in the jungle, me to my

grandparents old farmwe know how

to get there.  The destination always takes

us by surprise.




Through Traffic


My diligence carries me through traffic,

through the glaring sunlight, past banks

in my familiar monotony. 

I am a friend coming home to a house

that empties me.  The den is dusty, rustic,

and remote, quiet as a lit candle.  I enjoy

the space.  The voice that speaks to me

measures its own color stolen

from the admission of my gaze.  I am

what I always am, what I always meant

to be, the dust of another day covering

my footsteps, stirred up by other hours,

when I walked from room to room with a book

of names.  Time passes and I am the only

one who knows it.  Days come and go,

when snow covers the ground outside

my window, and the breeze wanders

like blame through the silent town.  I trust

my ears when I hear nothing, knowing

I cannot forget.


Joel Fry