A Beauty Strange

by Thomas Zimmerman


“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

Thomas Zimmerman works as a community-college English instructor and writes poems as often as he can.

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