Selected Poetry by Thomas Mixon

March 29, 2019

Photo Source: Max Pixel 

 

 

FROM THE WAIST UP ONLY

 

 

From the waist up only

The wand searches to the sternum

Before using the

Ribs to approximate

How far down these hips are before they are swapped

 

New bones only

Appear with sinister regularity

The lecture tonight

Will cover astrophysics

And nobody is expecting to find or be caught with a knife

 

If the website only

Steered people’s bare attention

The task wouldn’t be so constant

Gaps in the queue could be and should be detectable

 

But a quiet few only

Saw the theater’s

Suggested parking

Leaving now a street of

Torsos hurrying

Away from distant pavement to their almost destination

 

The entrance steps only

With their closeness confuses

Even the most scientific

Methodly minded

Of this soon to be audience by now demanding peer review

 

Plans are drawn only

To be tread upon mindlessly

Come the actual date and time

They are tested by dalles oblivious to revision

 

We are nothing if only

Chests rapidly pressing forward

Resentful of the necessary exhale

Holding us back from where we should already be

 

 

 

 

 

FRILL THE ALREADY USELESS DOSES

 

 

Frill the already useless doses

I routinely take at whim

At second or third

Sip from the dregs.

Impulses acted on each morning,

Emphasis on the acting.

Seemingly lost in

Thought when peeking

Tablets say hello atop the spot

They’re always kept, well it hurts

No one if I take one and everyone

Agrees it’s better to simulate

Something so no void will grow.

 

Sugargummy every lozenge.

Every supplement can switch

Places kept by different candy

Honest in their brand of promise.

 

I’ll even watch, I want to

Witness the artifice, the candid

Decoration each pill gets.

 

So when the coffee gives the cue

Next time the grounds adorn

My face I’ll exaggerate

My thanks to the

Wardrobe department.

I will smile as I swallow and sell

The screen print of my best contortion.

 

 

 

 

 

SO WHAT THE METAL DANGLES

 

 

So what the metal dangles

Intriguing an underwater creature

Neither you nor I can see

 

But you want to see

Using both hands on the taut

To reveal the small commotion

 

You smile at the commotion

With mouth at full cleek

Piercing any yielding shape

 

On dry land my shape

Is hard, is pointed away

But caught just the same

 

Curved lead cuts the same

Across the flesh of those interested

And not interested or pretending

 

Despite my turned back pretending

To be tending to shore chores

You say something past the sudden waves

 

Which unintelligible the waves

Arrow to me through the defile

We’ve together made this moment

 

Of course after a moment

The surface becomes again flat

And I don’t want to be but still am hooked

 

 

 

 

 

SUPERSTITION PREVENTED THE CHILDREN

 

 

Superstition prevented the children

Forever from finding out

Conclusively if specters of the bad

Luck that rarely came

Could be blamed for their mastery

Of the single over hard.

 

Their grandfather waved away

Questions with hands offering

Velvet cakes, sponges. Desserts

The children later referred to

As the culprits. As the cartons

Confounded most breakfast plans.

 

Multiple eggs reduced risks

Involving impossible shells,

Spillage, undercooking the yolk.

Opaque packaging showed

No hope for the children,

Who expected only one.

 

They asked their father,

Who retorted only: things

Were unenlightened, back when

I was young, he never cooked

At all. Like most days now

The father disappeared then.

 

Buying many only tried

Too many patiences on mornings

Too rushed anyway. Two dozen

Meant twice as many

Empty dimples. At least

There was bread pudding with sauce.

 

Could it be some epic

Joke? Inside the histories

Of his web browsing they found

No key words about recipes

Calling short for only eggs

Eleven. Words were spelled wrong.

 

While he died they paid

Close attention to any mistakes

He made, hints perhaps.

With knives

They sighed and ate angel food

Prepared in honor of the deceased.

With the first cut it collapsed.

 

They guessed religion. They were wrong.

They guessed a chronic preference

For odd numbers, forgetting

He was buried with two rings.

He would not explain the gold

Around his right hand, either.

 

The children kept the mystery

Alive, eschewing lazy 

Step-by-steps

Listing staples duodenary

Without question.

They cooked loaves

For each other, saving a lone

Snack for themselves for later.

 

When you cannot speak

The why of the way

You live your life, bake

The way you do, why

Bother to answer? The lies

Probably would ruin you.

 

As an aside, consider

You may not be the best

Judge of what is truly spoiled.

Experienced farmers

Sometimes toss

Fruitless product, only to

Later find chicks at the dump.

 

 

 

 

 

CARRY THE LEDGE FROM THE HILLS NEAR HOME

 

 

Carry the ledge from the

Hills near home

To where we bury our dead

 

The size of the rock

Is not as important

As the distance it is brought

That it is held in one spot and then in another

At all

 

Transport more than place marks the end

Cuts the tegument stretching our dead

Past the edge of what we can live with

When they’re gone

 

During the journey it sounds 

Like a pebble

Breaking from the stone but it’s not

 

And though we love our plotted lea

It’s the miles that matter more

That pulls the sadness not away

But into shape

 

Forms we are happy to

Add to the load

Of what we’ve already mined

Joining weightless meaning

With our limbate lives

 

By the time we turn

Around it’s unclear

What mass if any we’ve dropped

 

 

 


Thomas Mixon was a featured writer at Mass Poetry's U35 reading series in Boston. His recent work has appeared in Breadcrumbs and The Sunlight Press.

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