Monday, November 30, 2009

Robert High Guard, "Giving Up Lent"

Robert High Guard

You are the ghost in the tree outside.
—Mark Strand

Giving Up Lent


I don’t feel very real,
that’s what I said,
my voice thinning
to a reed.
The diagnosis:

Delivered by witch doctor –
I am becoming less
of myself by the hour.

The disappointment, to feel
you don’t matter, are not matter

Walking dead-eyed
in the asphalt afternoon,
haunted by objects:
a child floating
in a plastic bag

A hummingbird appearing
like magic, holding
a space all its own
in the early light.

In the morning it is
time to go, back to the
tree you were
sleeping in
before all of this.


If you can see yourself
in the mirror,
you are still here.
The moment you don’t, you are
on your way to the little play.

In your seat you notice yourself
not on stage,
holding a program.
The orchestra is playing a song you know,
your lips move: nothing.

Later, drinks are served.


Spring arrived with fire,
fire in as many tongues
as there were teeth
in the wind. Some called it
a supernatural intervention

Getting a ghost
to stop drinking.
This is a hard teaching
for someone who is
not all there.

Or here, sitting alone
under rafters of cedar,
your brain a raisin
or your scrotum –
either way your are

A new wrinkle
in this dying world: one
that continues
to offer itself –
without wafer or wine.

Robert Guard’s work has appeared or is forthcoming from Argestes, The Chaffin Journal, descant, Eclipse, Nimrod, Quercus Review, and Sycamore Review.

RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture, http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume Three (2009): Immanence/ Imminence

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