by Steven Kenworthy

all things considered
the magic in the air between us on the stage is nothing short of,
the table is my brave assistant.
you are the spell and the wand. the escape, you can’t
go far
say you won’t
go far.

the space between the applause and the clapping, the breath
the gathered hush
the time eats at it, but
everyone is looking
at everyone else’s hands thinking,
“we have to be in love with this”

so am i.

i blew a stunt.

close your eyes,
this will make you weak
only the strong are strong and sometimes scream
i’ll turn your stomach and twist you senseless
the tears, i will supply she will help
the assistant insists,
we cry together.
less is more but this monsoon has potential,
spoken diplomatically of disasters, natural & unnaturally
let us cry. like pouring rain. i promise,
this idea is ugly.

i went far, yes i disappeared
ghosts. gone,
i make a decent houdini, an awful decisionest
pays a dear price
so many letters headed “dear”, i write i drive
the year has been tough on my tires my tour
my tux is torn, worn out i’m worn
i’m tired of this too many states away rainbow
my treasure sits pretty in
this chest
i miss
this girl. she is golden, creative.

eclectic and very all-American.
pretty. pretty.

tonight i’m going to pretend to be complex so
come and see, bring the kids
the admission fee is whatever energy you have left to give,
with a tan i might look fatigued like war
stories told by the tub
washed out,
i’m clean i’m a dream i’m pulling cities out of hats
we waited forever to decide this just might work, now
the illusion, the hocus pocus
is me
at your door step.
8 months later, i can practically taste your snowflakes.

since water has no flavor, you must now
give me everything.
bring my senses back my 6th, my 7th
lost my 4th, my 5th…touch is best,
sparks shaped precisely like sharks
swimming in the dark the heavy closed curtains
the shadowbox of goods and things
my abstract abilities to do these types of things
such as
she makes me write signs like crosses on hands
deceptive i have to be honest and appear a lot more like
Jesus & Copperfield.

the reality is
the audience is clapping now
the short people are standing, the tall people on their feet
it’s such a good time for applause
prizes, confetti, congratulations…ribbons

everyone with emotion is proud of us
we have stuck our chins out, our chests
we pulled off the impossible, we destroyed the odds,
we are on the same hand,
slightly odd. it is magic afterall. speaking

of hands, the clock,
“for my last and final trick
i will make the time disappear into
dust”, a delivery.


Author's Note: scattered thoughts on:

taking on the impossible space & time event. now...it's time to go dream.

a welcomehomeatlastkiss. oh and yes...an apology for the lack of airplane reference. dangit.

Posted on 10/11/2006
Copyright © 2017 Steven Kenworthy

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Anne Engelen on 10/11/06 at 06:25 AM

Dear Mr Diesel, you make my head spin! Reading your words, your images it's always such an extraordinary experience. It's like getting a quick fix, getting high on a turmoil of emotions and ideas. You got me addicted!!

Posted by Deborah Breuer on 10/11/06 at 11:18 PM

que buenisimo Steven. Me gusto mucho! Be proud...it's a great write and quite the accomplishment. I look forward to reading more. Debbie

Posted by Quinlan L Gibson on 10/12/06 at 12:43 AM

a lovely woven web.

Posted by Therese Elaine on 10/12/06 at 01:08 AM

This is absolutely sinuous and tantalizing and I confess it wrapped itself around me and got under my skin and I can still hear it thrumming in my blood -beautiful, bittersweet and so tangibly carnivale.

Posted by Lauren Singer on 10/12/06 at 06:02 AM

the inbetween chunks of this piece took my breath away. so many phrases swimming in here, i love it. "less is more but this monsoon has potential..." is brilliant. let's collaborate some time, eh? i'm glad you dug me up.

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 10/12/06 at 06:26 AM

Hi Steven. Again, I enjoy your free association and the running dream theme. Words are illusions and places. Excellent read. Thanks.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 10/12/06 at 04:13 PM

I had to make sure my seatbelt stayed fastened with this one. Quite an amazing read! Thank you.

Posted by Kathleen Wilson on 10/13/06 at 04:44 AM

It's as if I crawled into Joyce's Finnegan's Wake and found a few poetic paragraphs I hadn't noticed, and that I could understand a bit more than most... it's got that dream music... I love Joyce so that's a big compliment. Applause through the night.

Posted by Leslie Ann Eisenberg on 10/15/06 at 06:14 PM

love and magic, oh yea, i'm digging it. i love the idea of being on stage and vulnerable in that way, and wishes for the impossible to be, the ultimate magic trick! what is real? what is illusion? magic and love are linked more than i ever thought possible before this read. i forgive you for leaving out the plane reference, because i like how you kept the scene in the same place, and stuck to the theme of magic. fave lines -- i make a decent houdini, an awful decisionest pays a dear price, im clean im a dream im pulling cities out of hats -- that is CLASSIC SK! when i read your poems, i enter the wild country that is your mind, and i am always left breathless, never disappointed. it is amazing how you can write in such an all-at-once unfiltered fashion. now, having worked with you, i'm not sure that i understand your process all that much better, but i have observed your complete lack of fear in the writing process. your spilling of thoughts becomes cohesive on the page. why? i guess what i see now is that these lines are not random, you are rattling off thoughts as you go, thus spinning out story, fears and hopes presented chronologically. yes, the mind can go all over the map from moment to moment, and yes, in life, there are triumphs and terrible mistakes, and all of that is here, always within stories, all of life...you have a talent for artfully computing all permutations and moving a story to a strong conclusion. you have a definitive style, a rawness which i greatly admire. also, after reading some of your older work, it is clear that as your writing voice matures, you continue to embrace that almost child-like honesty and verve for life. don't ever lose it! your style is fresh, effervescent, and appreciated by many adoring fans. keep up the good work, SK! :)PK

Posted by A. Paige White on 12/08/07 at 03:42 AM

I would like to shape a snowcone of your angels. The flakes taste of city site confetti, shaken to the bottom of SK's magician hat. Letter keys you press so lightly now, less slightly then, are your best table assistant. My monitor whispered it was your greatest fan, our ensuing argument fanned letters that spelled out A M o s t W O R T H Y poet!

Posted by A. Paige White on 01/30/08 at 12:11 PM

Congrats on POTD! So cool to read this one again.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 01/30/08 at 04:37 PM

Congrats on POTD!

Posted by Frankie Sanchez on 01/30/08 at 05:14 PM

everyone with emotion is proud of [you]. -- end of story. i can't believe i have never read this. congrats on potd. look, you are one of my favorite poets and one of my favorite writers. and i don't think i have ever had the chance to say that to anyone and mean it. it's not like chuck palahniuk frequents the web sites i like. seriously, there is something you do with language, with words, with thoughts and emotions, and something you do with storytelling that really is a discovery for the reader. every time i read a piece of yours i almost always have at least one moment where i say "how'd he do that," or "wait, i never thought of using that word that way, why have i never thought of using a word that way?" and it is everything before and after those moments that hooks me. i suspend any disbelief and subscribe to the literal world you create. what you do with words is a lot, i imagine, like what scientists wish they could do with atoms. it's that magical.

Posted by Leslie Ann Eisenberg on 01/30/08 at 06:20 PM

the table is my brave assistant....less is more but this monsoon has potential,...bring the kids ...m clean im a dream im pulling cities out of hats.....taste your snowflakes....we are on the same hand, slightly odd....you slay me, SK! congrats! :) PK

Posted by Christina Bruno on 01/31/08 at 12:43 AM

POTD by my favorite FBI agent LOL

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