a fateful time to fully live

when ‘I’ is painful

and ‘we’ is rephrased

not by any mere revision

or the replaying of old dumb shows

we’ve had to peel a new layer of the onion

not convulsively turning against ourselves

our tender mortality thin enough to feel

those mythic gods were never fair

and now those gods are dead

so we’ll just have to

become just men


not bystanders

on standby rather

living by our nerves

secure in our insecurity

free spirits shaped by our captivity

not licking our wounds or festering with

contentious words and unscientific theories

not obscured by untrustworthy fright and fog or

decrepit analogues passing for public policy

we cannot fall asleep in the underground

when their bombs have begun to pound

noses in one another’s business

still believing in magic

no words for spells

no territory to light out to

no perfect test to signal the cure

no heroes   no supermen   no gods become men

no fleshy automatons to replace the ones we’ve lost

just the wind in the windows and no hurricane insurance

the wrong boots   not enough sandbags   no basement

only the improvised words of existential detectives

wholly present in everything they write

peripatetic   uncertain   partisan

reconnoitering the fault lines

the living features of the landscape

that Nobody   not perfect   not innocent

that wounded healer   our friend   our poet

we’ve enough air to breathe

but no place yet to land


About Nicholas Power

The poetry of Nicholas Power and his reviews of singular poems in a sequence titled Cadence.
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