Fear of Dreaming


This flummoxing affliction.
Cries carom off the bedroom door
and box his father’s ears:
an invitation to mad Martians
who march with coffers of roses
with thorns, which he fears.
“It’s bad! It’s ruined! I want it!
It’s gone! I need it! I need it!”
His terror grinds like rusted gears.
This inclement condition of a
knife drawn through his dreams,
of the permanence it shears.
A box of hand-grenades
is in his head, and the pins
fall from his face as tears.


G W Sisk




If I were a star I would explode! 
And whatever was the matter 
would not matter.
My strafing of the galaxies
with particles and frequencies
would make me God.
Though I might be misunderstood, 
by default I would be right.

Gavin W Sisk


Young, I raced through summers in bare feet,
through sunburned fields with clover-crazy bees,
over shards of brown glass pushed to mounds
as alters heaped by mad old men cast down

to share their pain with an oblivious child.
Soap, a stiff brush, Mercurochrome, a smile:
salves for cuts from countless careless flights
across the scraps of countless shadowed lives.

Are paper, pencils, promises, and prayer;
silver clouds, the golden rule, our faith in fair;
sex, song, and vows to live in vivid view
of fields unmarred by mounded dreams askew

bars enough against brigades of venial sin
that live and somehow arm and aim to swim
and swarm through windows of our present tense
and change our songs of flight to dissonance?

Gavin W Sisk

Her Fall Virus Wrapped in Fleece

Thursday there were paper clips
transmogrified over a burner:
anealed, quenched; now gifts
offered like tempered chocolate,
traded for chamomile and solitude.
Chemistry with poems in the margins.
The burning log, asthmatic nearly,
sounds like sheets beating on
a distant neighbor’s clothesline–
like Fall through long hair, she says.

Oct. 12, 2014



Walked past an unconscious male
sprawled heavy on the clinic floor,
listless legs lying in the doorway
where his surprised knees had failed.
Plaid shirt ripped from his chest,
buttons scattered across the tiles,
wax face lumped around a mask:
a broken doll in cardiac arrest.
Middle-aged, except maybe not so
middleage after this cut-short day.
Medics shocked him, pumped him up,
but not to flesh that looked like life.
Raggedy Andy without the red yarn,
or a painted smile, or button eyes.


I yawn and wait behind the wheel;
watching immigrants cross mid-block
for marrow meals from market trash:
steel seared curses artfully slipped.
Christ, can’t they cross at the lights!
Seagulls menace a murder of crows
dredging the curb for burgers and fries.
Dodging wheels, they feed from fate.
And so for the gull who lags until last;
I watch the Express roll over his back.
Vainly commanding enfeebled wings,
cocks up his head, cries open his beak;
silently screams surprise at death,
learning too late that he was alive.

March, 2014