A Beauty Strange
“A beauty strange!” his muse declares when he
unscrews his skull to bare his brains to her,
the maelstrom universe, the sounding sea.
A beauty? Strange! For him, it’s just the blur
of burbling blood and ooze, and what confound
him most: the nitered images, the walled-
up lust, the rusted memories, all wound
with dreams, ideals, the dregs of tombs—the galled
mind’s cogs of genius locked and atrophied,
the nightmares poorly buried, coming true.
He slumps in arbor vitae gloom, near seed,
or grubs, at which some grackles—half-assed, blue-
hued ravens—peck. “Young Mr. Poe,” his muse
resumes, “it’s either write, or die. You choose.”
Thomas Zimmerman works as a community-college English instructor and writes poems as often as he can.
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