She was captive in a hillside house

blocking footpath entry to a Dalles-like gorge

that was greasy or grassy – two women

 

on a concrete-floored inner courtyard;

me, climbing the cherry wood rails

under the structure – to their rescue

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

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We all have demons to identify and confront

seldom overlapped with theirs

acid seeping from the tunnel of abuse

contrasting

– bowling, billiards, Canobie Lake –

amid rows of gemstones and blown-glass flowers

on the other hand, dreamt

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
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So politely, as though comparing                   

classified advertisements

or new model cars no, I should recognize everything

when she leads me to the graveyard

 

in snow-covered woods, the way death

is also a divorce, as much as bells and incense

how uneasy quietude sits in the glinting sunlight

 

why shouldn’t I have expected to become

another bead in her rosary or gun sight

rather than spending the night in her bed

after evening vespers?

 

no way to begin an animated conversation

with ease

solid earth, ground not selfish or proud

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

As for the introductions, so far one’s

a heavy smoker who manages

a multimillion-dollar recreation department

two executive secretaries

the head nurse in an emergency room

who tells me physicians are fleeing

because of legal and financial difficulties

a junior high math teacher known as the Wicked Witch of West

a hair-designer who gave me a fifty-buck haircut

in exchange for a jaunty Italian dinner

plus a four-eleven Korean who never showed up

after I’d driven an hour-and-a-half

through a snowstorm to meet her

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

Sun, all fire and warm workings high standards

indulging in a good joke now and then;

could always be depended on

by a few friends, family, coworkers

 

long journeys, publishing, philosophy,

higher education,

hopes, humanity rising, shy, careful, businesslike

add to calculations almost contradictory

in their natures

 

even though lively, she should enjoy sports and

outdoor life

but didn’t, except for the dude ranch

usually a difficult place for a woman

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
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The philosopher among other characters

brings out a table of elements

where we might be going, admitting

almost everything in that chart falls above the horizon

 

friends and the subconscious with a danger

of self-undoing

simply trying to figure out how we fit

 

who has come close so strongly in the fog

perhaps it’s appropriate to hear distant bells

in that lofty side, a neck and a smile

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

Young and freckled, a taste of possibility

usual stops before turning to reports

and preparations

she thought me compulsive? how complicated,

this retreat

sometimes I missed the old expense account

me, setting forth in an inconspicuous vessel

 

take what you want, leave the rest

down in those pirate shores where you lodge

nursing bluestockings or snot-nosed

models, Barbies, Ken dolls

with napkins or embarrassing rudeness

 

drop the rope away for weekends

it’s not Gunpowder Gorge, but

skiing up to posterity, the cracking wherever

you cast a critical damn (where some love the ambiguous

bargain in tux and spats, others

 

make the pitch run more smoothly

without the skull and crossbones

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

 

At what came on so quickly

the beast of seventeen

clocked in the slow-motion night

of first love, complete yielding and flush

wherein tragedy the making would revert

throughout life if it continue, for whatever

reason why does maturing in this land

take so damned long and yet everywhere

as a finger of such pointed sadness or hollowness

however small, wistful, unthinkable

when you are the center of these aerial fireworks

named for flowers, come down, baby,

all so briefly

so dry, so restless, so eagerly explosive

petals or seeds scatter in the air

 

toward the back of applause

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.