One Or Two In Every School

At a thousand yards
broken children
hear each others’ silence.

Without the superpower of normalcy
each knows they are a mutant,
wanna be X-Men.

Too young to understand
there is no such thing as normal,
they compare invisible scars.

The bewildering business of being
traffics in misunderstanding
and a roster of bullies.

On a future day, a teacher
will succeed in educating them
that they are fully human.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Momentary

The monsters that roam your unconscious
were once real in the guise of friends or family.

You may have an anxiety closet
or fear the underside of your bed,

but that is the mind’s manifestation
of buried images from silent era films.

Silence from before your vocabulary developed
or grew large enough to express something insidious

like the misplaced hand that steals the spine
or a common action diverted into the perverse.

Your fluttering eyelids over our coffee cup conversation
confirms emotional bruises and illicit fingerprints.

The secrets you keep are secret only in detail.
Violence without definition, without time stamp or witness.

As your body twists muscles in a squirm
your secrets wring an old blackened torment outward.

I recognize your avoidance techniques.
I realize your emotional heart stopped and blood turned cold.

Though it is plain your ears are not deaf,
my It’s over and Let it go fail to vibrate the ear drum,

to penetrate deep to the living memory
that retains the trespass as clear and present danger.

A moment of relief crosses your eyes
as we switch our talk to the playoffs

and other subjects that leave tears
far from the corners of your eyes.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Fallout

At a bar, Lori hears last call.
All night poetry echoed off the walls.
So many stories like her own.
Hell at the hearth stone.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

postscript

Funny thing happened on the way to completing this poem. It started out as seven quatrains. It seems I used a lot of unnecessary words in the first draft that distilled down to these four lines. Yes, I like that metaphor. Distilled. And what we have left is a good stiff drink. Chartreuse is my choice. Green over gold.

Sometimes I am so in love with my own voice I over-write a poem. I just get carried away in spite of the adage: brevity is the soul of wit. I ponder the possibility that my start in poetry was in slam poetry and the fact points were awarded more generously to longer poems. Three minute poems since that was the frame work of the classic slam poem of the 1990s. So an unintended consequence of creating an artistic reward structure. Even if the point was poetry, not the points.

Love & Light.

Kenneth