July 10, 2013

Ethan Leonard

Narcissus in the Psych Ward

The mandrake’s shriek has no capacity
for pity. The dogs take toward the hanged
meat; the masters make a profit on sleep.
I wake late daily – suck ice in the dark,
mistake the moon in the hard plastic cup
for a sliver of mouth that aches for warmth.
The image is fake, but nightly returns.
My lips stick to its surface, break and bleed.

(Written in the form known as ramage, invented/coined by Robert Bly)


You began in the middle.
A newly screwed bulb
flickered in the mirror.
You stood and stared
with fear: now
was presently older.

You want to begin
at the beginning,
but expressions
for your longing
have not caught
the sagging gut.
Your speaking tongue
sinks like the dark
hump of horizon
when the day comes

and again you begin.
You leave no lover
in your bed, ride the bus
without a word, fall asleep
and miss the stop.


Ethan Leonard teaches in South Korea. His Tumblr page can be found at: http://100percentkick.tumblr.com/

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