Selected Poetry by Thomas Mixon
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
Leaving now a street of
Away from distant pavement to their almost destination
The entrance steps only
With their closeness confuses
Even the most scientific
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
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.
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
Listing staples duodenary
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.
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
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.