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Coryphaeus

by Jim Benz


I. A fiery wheel or a dove

I was puzzling. Heroic.
And a barstool.
I was not a throne.

You were both tide and landfall.
A splash of brine.

We were an olive

swallowed, inarticulate
wildly mundane
and not too laconic.

You were conceived in tandem.

We breathed I am, I am not,
breath after breath
in the wardrobe.

I ate silage.
You ate corn out of season.
We wanted to be layered.

They found intricate displays
in your footnotes.

We have our seasons.


II. The dark uncanny

You flew down the staircase.

How dirt stains the carpet.
How there are too many linens.

They need a confession.


III. We are method

Your toe is a pencil.
It traces the hollow of reason.

Layers and layers
of heart beat and reason.

These are shadows.

Shadows are not method
and we are not echoes.
We lean toward the sun.

They ask us to be pleasure.


IV. Shaped and reshaped

What do they make
of our chorus.

We are translucent
and sorrow.


V. Somewhere in habit

You exhale. There are no syllables
caught in your teeth.

We are lonely. Your clock
is unwound. We eat the undercooked meat
that they serve us. It has delays.

You were avoiding the spoon
on your saucer. It is on your lips.
It is a measure of moments.

I cannot elaborate.
The saucer was only contrivance.


VI. A sort of coma

What do we void
if we count minute by minute
what is void

is retention. What do we count.

The minutes, the echoes.
Let me think.

They want me to think
in a chorus.


VII. Wildly mundane

About linens.

Their linens hang in a wardrobe
but the wardrobe is barren.
Its dimensions
are not what we hoped for.

Layers and layers
of footnotes and silage.

They want a confession.

They did not expect
the clock to be chiming.

The hours have been sprung
from its gears.
We do not comprehend

how they fold time into echoes.
We are submerged.

It is not what we hoped for.


VIII. Not a chorus

These tides

do not crest when the moon
falls from orbit.

They only sing softly

into night
for no reason.

We are not singing.


IX. A tin cup

This is an echo.

Every shade of intent
is a heart beat.

We are not method.
Not of syllables

and these
are not words.

We have seasons.

10/24/2009

Author's Note: published in Caper Literary Journal #3

Posted on 10/24/2009
Copyright © 2020 Jim Benz

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 10/26/09 at 04:13 PM

Most tantalizing. This is like written growing incarnations of things we do not always take note of. You are an unusual and keen-minded author. Your mind is on subliminal, and takes a reader along. "We have seasons."totally rocks!

Posted by Stephan Anstey on 11/23/10 at 03:53 PM

Well, first, wow. Second. Holy cow. Third... Geez Laweez. No wonder they published it - how could they not.

Posted by Stephan Anstey on 11/23/10 at 03:54 PM

Can I just say this is breathtaking?

Posted by Steve Michaels on 11/23/10 at 09:33 PM

Takes my breath away. Congrats on POTD!

Posted by Linda Fuller on 11/24/10 at 12:16 AM

I had read this before in a visit to your library and am glad to see it as POTD - congrats!

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 11/24/10 at 01:41 AM

Great to see this as POTD!

Posted by Paul Lastovica on 11/24/10 at 03:07 AM

maybe one day I'll make sense of it ... maybe i should print a copy to keep bedside for when i wake up on the other side of reality.

Posted by Jasmine Sword-Mann on 11/24/10 at 08:07 AM

This is poetry. This is what poetry should be. I bow to you, sir. You are beautiful.

Posted by Laurie Blum on 11/24/10 at 07:27 PM

This is just perfectly written, each section so thoughtful and intricate. As a whole it is like a Thanksgiving feast; so much to take in and all of it excellent. I just keep going back for seconds!:)

Posted by Paganini Jones on 11/25/10 at 09:56 PM

Excellent, excellent, excellent. And congratulations. I'm proud to be associated with you :)

Posted by Laura Doom on 11/28/10 at 11:01 AM

As a receptacle for choral collection, this overflows, unwilling to contain contamination :>

Posted by Jody Pratt on 11/30/10 at 01:49 AM

Unique and inspiring. Reading this piece was one of the first things I did when I came to this site. It was enough to make me want to join. :)

Posted by Nadia Gilbert Kent on 04/20/15 at 08:38 PM

Never saw this one before. So good.

Posted by George Hoerner on 04/22/15 at 04:54 PM

I don't know how I missed this one. It is great!

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