Poems of the Week – Bill Rasmovicz



The air choked with cottonwood dander
and tranquilizer blue.
From the crevice of a rock wall, a fist of wildflowers
sucker-punching the nothing.
People toting cameras and beers

equaling some inebriated form of truth-equals-beauty.
In the broken cathedral
a windowless window frames the notion that
what’s gone is gone, evidence
that evidence of ourselves sometimes suggests otherwise.

In a field behind, a child runs, hair flagging the calm,
her face apple-red and the stinger
still in her heel.
The imprint she leaves in the grass someone
later says must have been a small deer’s.


To differentiate between fire and flame
one must offer the self.

Sebastian, he let the arrows pierce him into ecstasy.
At least that’s what Gozzoli revealed–
that perma-grin, that attitude exuded in the astute
pitch of his hip.

Despite our capacity to outshine the godhead himself,
the body is to be spent.
Any imaginable Shangri-La then

is just an incarnation of someone else’s Gulag.
So it is, that the ethics of desire need not apply
for chemical warfare,

that, leg gashed, the man perennially seeking change
outside the drugstore smiles wider than you.

What are any of us a bad dream couldn’t set straight,
a day in the mines?
From the moment of our outset it was known,

doubt is a stone you swallow, rain
a multiplication by many zeros, and the hip or
spine is always the first to go.

And all you’re inspired to do is catch up with your
couch and drown in a video of the ocean
on your ocean-sized television.

Keep believing you are elsewhere.
Keep forgetting air has weight.

An empire will pull itself into existence by
the straps of its own two boots.
The beard can grow so thick
you can no longer force sustenance through it.


Not everything dreams.
By the time the arsenal is built, it is expired.

Someone is always seeking an ethos to bleed.
Nausea occurs even via placebo.
In this life, you must have the tenacity of a tick
with mammoth tusks.

Still, a leaf grazing the pavement mimics
a door creaking open. Eventually, the mystery
of being alone consumes itself.
There are no other eras.

Filed away as memory, memory dissipates
into atmosphere. Then why shouldn’t speech
from one latitude to another,
between us,
appropriate the muscularity of clouds?

What throbs in the bushes is not a bird,
but bird-like, neither gravity nor mystique.
Something pulls us so,

and closer to admiration for the tirelessness
of weeds, for the falling world.

* all poems from newly released Gross Ardor, 42 Miles Press, 2013.

Purchase at SPD or Amazon.

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