E T R A H During the moon landing I was on earth But ever asked: how subjective is ‘here?’ At what point does famil’rity have birth? In a dark side of the sun place a hearth. Because a home of heart is without peer During the moon landing I was on earth Beg with a Styrofoam cup of such worth: Spacemen in a fishbowl of walls not clear. At what point does famil’rity have birth? For space to be on a premium dearth On a TV screen wide enough for cheer. During the moon landing I was on earth Hands held across a million miles in mirth Static dances for grains of a soiled year At what point does famil’rity have birth? Our empty hands surround a riddling girth A small doubloon of proximity ne’er near During the moon landing I was on earth At what point does famil’rity have birth? Just words Truth is I don’t know if any of my experiences are real, or if I’m only stuck in a memory or two, which is essentially the footer to all I do. But -- can you tell me who I am from who I tell you? Or better to read me in the margins, in some text sous rature, for the truth is -- regardless of what either of us says -- full stop, I am a stranger unto reality, when so much of it exists outside of me. Can you tell me how you hurt the word? What you hate about yourself? How to be an outlaw for a dime? Who am I to judge what I remember? Winter Afternoon I am writing a poem because it’s winter, and I am inside. I don’t want to Right now, and it shows – “Proving” my point by showing this poor muddle -- better than the telling words, flowery as they could be, tattling in their own way, and reveling in my own circle of complaints. Ship of Fools This heavy Ship of Fools so soon cast off - The gentleman onboard, their hats they doff. Heads t’ follow, our thoughts dear but abaft are Stuffing that light in th’ madness of May ‘far. The court is a’ jester with an inf’nite smile. Hark! The two-headed coin of the gryllos Finds many maps in skel’tal trees virile – S’ they rest their many mouths on lead pillows. This sea of nothing, down our throats we quaff. O lo, we spiral down this dark Passion pit From Madrid’s silent tower falling off To jerk our movements into another fit. Do cold showers overhead skirt this place… For this Tree o’ Knowledge has a happy face? The Perception of My Own Grave The perception of my own grave Is always a long thought. Death becomes pictorial, Held by the thistled frame of tall grass. This mountain at a’ given distance All the more clear becomes When the artist’s jiggling hand Drops the coarse brush in art’s depiction. It seems a shame that anything But weeds should form this shroud. Yet th’ joke’s calling this plot mine When worms form my makeshift diadem
Michael T. Smith is an Assistant Professor of English who teaches both writing and film courses. He has published over 150 pieces (poetry and prose) in over 80 different journals. He loves to travel.
This is his first feature on The Fictional Café.