New Spaces / Waiting

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Inventing by Mark A. Harrison

Don’t know if I can
be myself in here
still trying to find
myself in the noise
The assault of perfume
climbs down my sinuses
but fails to clear them
neatly obliterating
the earlier tang
of frying bacon
This isn’t our place
anymore, but the domain
of a different generation
urbanized, plugged in, born
into a world fuelled by
blue light pulsing through
digital veins, as oblivious
to their dependence on
interconnectedness, as to
the necessity of breathing
The fading cologne clouds
make way for the clamour
of the other senses, the one
persistent metal scream
the slow, endless slide
of a fingernail on galvanized
glass; searing steel fire cuts
through the backdrop of brown noise
riding above the hiss of steam,
the warm up and down rumble
of human voices; a keen knife edge
sharpens formerly soft waves
of jumbled randomness; words
jump out of the melee, singly, or
in non-contextual bursts:
“I’ll pay whatever it takes
to stay a little longer.”
The whole city, it seems,
(or at least, all the 80’s revival
youngsters, rolled up stone wash
jeans and tucked in shirts and curly hair,
all the skinny loft dwellers recently
descended from some lofty discussion)
have all descended around me,
a vortex of motion and indecision;
The cologne waves redouble, spool
and collide, part and subside,
over the seesaw rhythms of upspeak
and vocal fry; the foam coating the bowl
of my cup (black on the outside, because
black is the new black) resembles a forest
softened by sunset fog, or morning mist,
caught on the boundary between
past and present, future possibilities
and the endless sea of ghosts
that linger in the vibrant air.

– T.H. (02.04.19, at the Cork & Bean)

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Coming Home the Snow

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Out There by Mark A. Harrison

Coming home
the snow catches me
pulls at my coat
the wind tugs & pushes
impatient children
tempting me off course
arguing against
my preferred trajectory
A black cloud plunges
boils and plunges, billowing
like smoke, black in the air
white against the windshield
The air fragments
into a million starling flakes
not a murmur, but a roar
a howling tumult
that shatters around me
dissolves into
harmless flecks of white
The air becomes the snow,
the snow, air
Above, improbable patches of blue
race each other across the sky
hell bent for eternity.

– T.H. (April 4, 2018)

The Enkindled Spring, by D.H. Lawrence

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Going Over by Mark A. Harrison

The Enkindled Spring
 – D. H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930)

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.

Welcome Home

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Before the Rain by Mark A. Harrison

The woods welcome me back,
draw me in like
a prodigal daughter,
and i have come home,
as if i never left;

There are children here,
and a complicated dog,
who keeps running
to the front of the group
and back again;

At the rest stop, kids build
moss houses and stick castles;
i wander off on my own
to play my whistle to the wind–
the silence after i stop
is absolute, as if
i was never playing;

We clatter over wobbly log bridges,
haphazardly strewn across little streams
and ponds as if by accident;
wolf tracks in the wet sand
by a beaver dam, dapple brown grouse
beating away through the trees,
and later (or earlier), a smoky oil lamp,
turning the fluted glass black;
the rain comes in the night
and is gone by morning.

Back in the city, away
from the star-strewn sky,
and the lake, still as a prayer,
we find new life in the asphalt desert:
the hidden trill of urban sparrows,
defiant daisies pushing through concrete,
the animal growl of cars and buses,
dry leaves skittering over pavement.

– T.H.

 

Revelations

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Sometimes Late at Night by Mark A. Harrison

The forgotten shoulders
of February snow
settle into
the sun-starved earth,
mud seeping into crevices
carved by the relentless
ice, the Loki spirit
of early morning frost
that charms and dazzles
even as it kills;

This is the season
where old secrets
emerge from slowly
melting tombs,
people dancing sidestep
to avoid the de-
composed unknowns;

Better to focus
on the promised
return of solar warmth,
the miniature Death
Valleys forged by meltwater
Cascades, a flood
to wash away
the salt and silt,
the guilt by association;

We must all look
on our collective leavings
and sigh in righteous
consternation, at this
yearly ode to universal
apathy, and then forget
with every step
that ever it was ours.

– T.H.

Originally written 02.04.14, Edited 02.21.18

If by Loving

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Silhouette by Mark A. Harrison

If by loving, you mean
conspicuous consumption
of one another’s souls,
devouring each hour
yet hoarding minutes
like secret treasure,
deluding ourselves
that we can keep time
tucked away, safe
in the faulty vaults
of memory – and yet
nowhere is entropy
more apparent, more
glaringly obvious
than in that
which we think
we remember.

– T.H.
(02.13.14)