I want to be a simple man the way
my grandfather wanted to go
to sleep when the sun went down.
I want a small happiness to open
over me like a cloud, and inside
that cloud all the electricity
convulsing into a shriek of light
that is my light.
The last images of the night were of mountains
and children. In the morning, of a woman
with a man straddling her on the couch
of the first house I lived in. They were embarrassed,
which made me embarrassed, and angry.
Some confluence of two women, one whom I respect
and one I do not. I’d been thinking of the good woman
a few days before, so I suppose that made sense.
She had upset me, mostly because I had no cause
to be upset, but she ruined herself for me.
The other one I’d not thought of in months.
She was living in Paris with a man-child.
My tenderness had not worked for her.
The first words of the day were I have nothing
to say to you, and I aimed my grim finger
at the wall, my brow furrowed like a child’s.
After breakfast, I felt better. But the dreadful part,
as I searched my unconscious mind, was that the man
straddling my dream girl is a dear friend I’ve not spoken to
in years, though I think of him often, and love him, and hope he is well.
Poet Before Me
like two men walk
out of church
into the world they know.
He’s talking softly,
I don’t need to listen.
We go further,
he’s holding my hand.
I feel bones, blood, pulsing
things that do their job.
and for the first time,
looks at me.
Not the heart,
he says. Not beauty,
but what it points
toward. Then quiet.
Then we stand there.
Soren Stockman was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His writing has appeared in Narrative Magazine, St. Petersburg Review, Playboy, H.O.W. Young Poets, Tiferet Journal, Scrivener Creative Review, La Fovea, and others. Singing Saw Press published 100 broadsides of his piece, “Witness,” a collaboration with printmaker Anne Marie O’Neill, in 2013. He works as International Poetry Editor for Washington Square Review and Program Coordinator for the Summer Literary Seminars program in Vilnius, Lithuania. Stockman is currently an MFA candidate at New York University where he is a Goldwater Fellow.
Featured Image photograph by E.B. Bartels, www.ebbartels.com.