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POETRY OF WESLEY PATTERSONPOETRY OF WESLEY PATTERSON

The Book Thompson Cantation
Phoebe Echoes Bird House
Now Soliloquy Hearts
The Search The Pilgrim The Journey
Renascence The Game Sisters
Suspension The Problem
Yesteryear
The Party Carillon
Every Person Dying
The 20th Century Sometime The Bluff
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The Book

Congratulations
Are in order with respect
To your previous work
Sounded like the depths
I think a plumb line
Was the word
But the allusion
Is more appropriate
More than that
The essence
Is self contained
From the growth
Of severed salamander digits
To the final chapter
On regeneration
Of pygmy toe nails

It is one remarkable book
More than that
It is not conceivable
That in the far future
Or quite possibly
In our very own time
This book will be cited
As a milestone
In man's unquenchable desire
To conquer
Bunions and ingrown cuticles







Thompson

Selectman rebounding what ball
What fingers how long are
The nails. I selected I thought
Thompson knew this time
But, but when

Thompson he told me but only
Talk. Think. What thought
I missed slipping past me I
Grappled and missed the water
Through my fingers. How. When.
Thompson said he knew
The spider in the bathroom
A toy demon to be tacked but
Skittered when I touched what
Noise on plastered walls. Why
Run. Where to. Why Thompson
Who was he. How did he know
And what

Alone with Thompson or alone
Without him the spider moves
My fingers touch only the wall
I grin my plaster face, where
Is this wall, here, no there
Nowhere. Where is my fear
Of Thompson

I cannot follow with my toes
Are ingrown. Retreat to my
Calloused heels and there
Balancing on the balls of my feet
Rocking past my hobby horse
To find a place in time. What?
Do you hear it too?







Cantation

Forgive me all I say
And all I say
Is why

Why is all
And all is why
So why say?







Phoebe

Why love Phoebe
When there are others
Why love others
When there are others
Others others others
Always others







Echoes

Echoes
come again
when you came before
the game was lost
and you were left
behind
behind the sun

When night descends
the myriad stars
are always cold
and then I say
why to you
and why to me

And who will
answer?







Bird House

When the wren
in the
bird house
left
you blamed me
because
I hated
birds

When I
left your cage
like a bird
you blamed me
because
I hated
cages







Now

Once, I thought I
knew something

Then, I knew I only
thought something

So, I thought I
knew nothing

Then, I knew I only
thought nothing

Now I stay
between the lines

And all the while
I tread them







Soliloquy


Between the bars, the space

Beyond the touch of

My hands in place I

Grasp my life my

Heart in my soft hands

Between spindled waters

Frozen steams are under

Silent cemeteries

By my hand I bind this

World where life is known

I can only wet my hands

By myself I wipe my lips

What other lips will find

My own; what other places

Will my own shoes find

Beyond the sound, of a word

The final scream I feel

Know. The waters in nights sky

Turn my eyes about myself and

Hear the heat beat of a lie







Hearts

When I saw my wife
sipping a soda
and eating my heart
I told her to stop
it was my heart
and not very tasty

She smiled then laughed
said taste had nothing for her
she ate a heart because it was a heart
she ate because it was eating

Then she blew bubbles
in her soda glass
said to stop eating hers
Though she had priority
I had a reason
hers tasted salty







The Journey

Before the journey
No one spoke
The dust had settled
Lightly on our clothes

All the roads
Are poured at random
The stones are cooked
In the sun

During the day
We face each other
Hollow-eyed
And dust our lapels

At night
We wait in line
To turn our fevered cheeks
Toward the stagnant breeze

In the station
We stir the dust
And settle ourselves
In corners

The next day
We are waiting
In the shade
With yellow faces

It is late
But we sit down
And turn our empty eyes
In their sockets

When night comes
Some one pushes
So we kill him
And laugh to ourselves

The next day
The sun is clouded
We stand in line
Counting time in seconds

When it comes
He is on it
But we stare at the ceiling
Where a fly is walking

We are underground
When he announces
The last stop
And takes our tickets

No one gets out
Someone complains of the heat
I stare at the ceiling
Where a fan slows then stops

While we wait
The dust settles anew
And covers us up
In the softest sleep







The Pilgrim

From my dusty path

Of ancient ploys and tracts

I arrived without shoes

And no tickets


Inside my tragic costume

I walked through paste board mountains

And over plastic tree tops

To ask for you


You signaled the band

To always play faster

Than anyone's past

So we could dance


We danced faster

Than the dawn

Of anyone's tomorrow

But when you tired


I flared out

Like a falling star

In the blinking

Of an aged eye







The Search

Around the tree
We will flee
With all our might

Up the clock
We'll take flight
Then slide down

And look around
Bleat a sound
And cringe again

We'll dig a hole
Bury our soul
And up again

Not to the clock
We've heard the cock
Again and again

There is a way
It's not this way
Again and again







Renascence


Not my number

On local

And county

And state

And federal

Cards

But my number

Myself

Freely carved

At the 14th St. stop (of the B.M.T.)

In the uptown men's room

4th john to the left

Above the toilet paper

One cold morning


Then

Like an awkward bird

I flapped my arms

And ran, ran faster


Past gaping old women

Clutching their bags

And twisting round

Their foolish heads

To gape again

To miss nothing

Of value


So I stopped

And walked serenely

Through this dungeon

Of screeching wheels

And endless johns

From my wallet

Took all my cards

And dropped them

One by one

Into the hat

Of the one legged

Blind beggar

Sprawled on the steps

And fled

Before his howls

Of execration







The Game


After

We pass

The sub-station

For the fourth time

It is obvious

That

This walking

From room to room

Without

The proper credentials

Is a

Meaningless

Game


I try

To push

Out of line

But

The corridors

Constrict

Around me


I bend forward

And hold

My marching feet

With my hands


The line stops

Which I figure

Doesn't matter

Since

They

Are all dead


But

They stomp me

Anyway

And

Urge me on

Chanting

Nursery

Rhymes







Sisters


I could only say

I was this and

This is what I was

And I had to know

What this was


It was my sister

Told me

Living is dying


Told me

To forget my prayers

To forget myself

To forget my name


Told me

All was gone

That came to be

And all to come

Was gone like me







Suspension


It beckons

when thoughts are vacant

when time slows down

When seeing at night

I see no thing

and her face

her eyes

melting slowly

into the ticking

of the clock


My features unseeing

seen by her

are thought as strange

frozen soundless

while a thousand frogs

are croaking

and a breeze

can stir the blinds


And when

the frogs are dead

or far away

the clock

has been replaced

by soundless marching feet


And while her voice drones on

sounds like words

form the essence

of my dream







The Problem


Conducive within respect
By reason conclude likewise
Regarding the latter aspect
Of the aforementioned

Proposal should not blind
The uncontrovertible fact
Regarding the former statement
Of the preforementioned

Relegating to the latter
A risk of probability
In light of gross statistics
Impartial to the former

Essence of the problem
Convertible to the fact
Neither latter or the former
Can trump this risk intact







Yesteryear


As soon as I can

My word, my honor,

Will say if it comes

To that, will say no.


My word, is no word.

Today is not tomorrow.

I know nothing today.

Tomorrow I will know

Less and every day

Thereafter until I

Know nothing at all.







The Party

It was funny, ridiculous
To talk like that

After all was said
Nothing made sense

At the party there were forms
Looked like human or people

They emitted some noise or talk
Moved their tops up then down

One of the movers would then sound
Previous sounder would move his top

When one widened his lips
Others widened their lips

When one drew water from his eyes
Many feigned to do likewise

So I took careful note
Merely feel your sense by rote

And when an unknown face said friend
I knew this game would never end







Carillon


I'll kiss you

One more time

But I am blind

To what you said.

You were not meaning

For myself

But for you.


Cosmic thoughts

And revelations

Absorb my

Searching hands


And silence scrams

Of understanding.







Every Person Dying


Every person dying

Every person dead

Every person born

Every person to be born


Every rising planet

Every falling star

Every silly contact

Every serious love


Is inviolate

With a rightness

And an inevitability

Of its own







The 20th Century


Relevant to the time

Which we call the 20th century

It is simple to say

The negative is not the positive


Above all and below it

And everywhere in between

And encompassing all of it

The positive is not the negative


Summer comes, autumn goes

Leaves fall, dip right then left

Without negating the positive

Or positing the negative







Sometime


When you are

Ready, find

A stick

And lay it

Down and

Blow on it

And let

It float

Down the river







The Bluff


I can say that later

I was only thinking for

At the time I only knew

Half of my wife and

None of myself so I

Chanced to draw

My card

And bluffed

With nothing to lose

But myself

And half of my wife





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