Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Would that we could see beyond the heart’ and other poems by Tom Zompakos

By Tom Zompakos

Would that we could see beyond the heart
The compass Southed by any early blow swamps in pity and rot
Plugs the hole with coke and chocolate; caviar and pot
Churns feet to dance floor beats or yanks the arm at slots
Till it skips like a girl at hopscotch
Twitches like a fish that’s caught
And will awaken for no thrill
Lesser than electric shock.
Would that we could see into the ungrown, unborn core of things
The world of darkness and light
Where we are not deafened by our ears
Where we are not blinded by our sight
Where we are not deafened by our ears
Nor are we blinded by our sight.


There is So Much we Must Ignore

Starting is the hardest part- we share that with machines
We both dislike getting going on dark and icy mornings.

The microwave is spinning, the coffee maker grinding
The New York Mets are winning, the cat next door is whining.
In Hollywood they’re sinning, Silicon Valley spying
The week is just beginning, “It is Monday,” we are sighing.

There is so much we can’t afford. There is so much we must ignore.

Friday and Saturday were largely spent on drinking
And on Sunday morning, Church bells were ringing
Potluck party after, notes the priest after preaching
Oh, I had forgotten- wonder what my friend is bringing
These thoughts are shared with thoughts of God,
While we are kneeling and singing.

Here comes the subway screaming- it is screeching and winding
It is pulling into station, but it sounds like it is dying.
We are rumbling we are rocking- we are slipping we are sliding
One of us is softly rapping- and someone else is crying.
She was a veterinarian, but now she’s on the street
We wonder if she’s lying- someone gives her pears to eat.

Paralegal, paramour, illegal from Ecuador
Shoulder-to-shoulder in the tiny door,
With an irritating troubadour.
On the corner, they’re anti-war.
Haven’t we done this all before?
There is so much we must ignore.
There is so much we must ignore.


Snow & Sand

On ice- the heel of your fur-lined snowboot,
In air- the tea-kettle, puff-puff of breath
Hear now the crack- the thigh-deep, bone-numb plunge
The breathless laugh, too young to think of death.
Raw-red fingers, wax-white knuckles clawing
My elbow, gasping for breath- egg-wide eyes
Ask: do you promise not to tell on me?

In sand- the heel of no boot but your foot
In air- mouthwatering sea-salt free spray
Hear now- gulls cackle & you giggle too
And gasp as the waves slap us down mid-play
Night-black tresses- sun-burnt back, Burt’s Bees lips
Cheek to cheek, arm in arm, hip to hip you
Ask: do you promise not to forget me?

In bed- this foggy head of mine at rest
In air- the morning rolls itself awake.
Hear now the last words of last night’s dream ring
With images no one can recreate-
Black hair fanning during a spinning dance.
Ambling nowhere on a creaking boardwalk,
Though days made by the weaving thread of chance.

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