Two poems by Charlie Rose

The City is Missing

Where rose quartz waters rippled
I imagined
the things I admired awakening
as slowly as seed cases splitting.

I raised my eyes
I could not see the street.
Where you were,
where I always knew I 
could go and find you,

had been replaced by
a harmony of the dawn
that was like ruts and
scratched cliffs and meaningless zigzags
in a poorly plastered ceiling.

If I could pull off
all memory like a shirt,
huge and watery
like eyes demanding
the righting of a bay
of upside down fish,

I might see the scene,
unexpected as a knock on the door,
for what it is,
blackened pepper rubbed into
the tenderloin of an alien
dislocated by all our yesterdays,
swimming in a sea on Enceladus,
staring blankly at pre Cambrian petroglyphs,
snared and filleted by devious devices,

and if you return
from the great casting off,
I will follow you
as far as the Southwestern Effervescence
as far as the Cataracts
of Cimmaron, but no further,
but there I must turn back,
for if I stray further
I will surely lose my way.


4' 33" of silence
after John Cage, American composer

The first movement
was the wings of the wind
whispering in the trees.

Second movement
staccato raindrop metronome
drip factory creating countless beats
cascading from eaves.

The third movement
the irritated murmurs of listeners,
whose words were the music
they didn't want to be hearing,
making the music
they did not want to be music
in passages
that were the cessation of listening,
the music of things
that were not things,
the arrested vibrations
of absolutely frozen ice,
whose coldness was a frigidity
neither of the heart
nor of the fingertips,
an opus in a universe
where all art is subtraction from frostbite,
where the space between
is given voice
and takes flight.

Charlie Rose lives in the Boston area and has featured at Stone Soup and read on the open mic at the Cantab lounge. He has poems published by Amethyst and Arsenic online journal, and he has participated in the Brighton Word Factory writing group and the DIY MFA. He has also written a steam punk epic poem called Coin of the Realm.

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