Cutting Room: A poem by Gregory Askew

She wears him as he’s instructed,

but not all of her has made the cut.

Ribbons of a spirit

defying her good cause,

of a yearning neither can abide,

lie in a pile off to his side;

a black flower, domestic eruption,

potent and driving,

bruises her celluloid frame,

captivating captive.

No words, no anxious assertions,

and no amount of directorial force

can erase the stain,

the sidelong grimace,

at the heart of his dream.

Only a silent contest between the two

each blind to the victory of the Other

where life-exceeding insists

                                                                                    I am...

...eternal counterpoint

to the vanity of his craft.


Perhaps Her Love

Perhaps her love is humane. She
only minding your demands out of care for your pride
or to spare you an image of yourself in abjection:
A sorry nothing, propped up by lies
woven so tight that you are nearly convinced
the look and posture are indeed you.

Yet the vestments do tear.
The world is much more
than the stage of your glory for them not.
And it has happened, time and again,
and when it does, there she abides,
amid the ruins of past ambitions,
unaffected and resolute in the mess of you,
resplendent in her uncanniness,
her ability to be in spite of nothing.

She smoothes your ruffled hair,
straightens a dog-eared collar,
assuring you nothing’s changed.
When in fact,
the world has turned in your sleep
and you’ve woken on the threshold
of a new dream.


Found One...



Child's Song w/ Photography by Lizz Swenson

Child's Song

I lie in my bed thinking of you,
just two doors down.

So small,

so new to this world.

You are alone in your dreams,
no warmth
but your own.

By my side your father, my lover snores.
Faraway he roams
from you,

faraway he roams
from me...

this stranger at my side!

While he sleeps,
I am fitfully aware, awake...

with thoughts of you,
just two doors down.

I could go to you, now.
Throw back the covers without a sound.
Take you up into my arms, tell you that I am here

for you.
But, I hesitate... something closes in me.
And I wait silently, impatiently for understanding.
Who has time for this? One-o-clock,
tick-tock, tick-tock
then suddenly something flies open
and now I see!
That I am the one alone,
there is no one
but me.

By my side your father, my lover snores.
Faraway, he roams
from you,

faraway he roams
from me.

Who is this stranger by my side sleeping?



I drank from the river.

Now the rush of its course

is all I hear.