by Cam M. Roberts


Hold me indefinitely as an article of clothing
or show me love or the meaning of:

I’m already worn, broken in
by the form of another.

How can indeterminate eyes assert
such an intransigent inference, then turn
it into a lifelong belief? Why does the soul cling
with vehemence to a horde of erroneous sentiments?
Is the mind prone to its own proclivities?

The visible
world is an intermittent
hell, the sublimated animal is man.

I think death is a brief obstruction, a scintilla
of interference, a wrinkle which seems to iron itself out
if allowed. I think our tears must be steam to prevent scorching
the heart to nothing but charred flesh and scar tissue, phantom limbs
needn’t be cauterized.

Condone you alone shall muster
the will to go on, let your voids
last as long as they please, then
by inchmeal be replenished with
a newness that is nameless —

I’d like to think that we don’t die every second,
but that Time does — perhaps Time is the lexicon
of less: ruthless, merciless, heartless, fatherless.
It’s his loss. Don’t give it a second thought.
Often times, less is more.

I am always stumbling

I am full of contemplation

On the whole I am nothing
but a walking-talking
hormonal machine
with mechanisms of membrane

I am learning
to accept a few substitutions
from which I custodian the bereft dominions
and salvage the now vacant vaults by endowing words
[as if cenotaphs] with the corporeal memory of a disembodied meaning

I hope
to soon restore
my faith in this torn
language by which is meant: my voice

I was an honorary outlaw as a boy,
I was blown away by the song “Highwayman” —
many a time within cathexis I listened
so involved in reverie it appeared
I was put under an otherworldly trance,
an oracle ruminating and chewing
on that episodic ballad like cud
with such memorable lyrics, and
phlegmatic tempo-rhythms — mostly stolid
in tone — wherein a quartet of wayward men
[archetypal trailblazers in the American sense]
form a collective first-person narrative sequence
comprised of elegiac solos with gruff and rustic voices
as nuanced in each spectral man’s
temporality, occupational hazard, and fatal circumstance,
but nevertheless were they all kindred in personae as revolving ghosts
in the transcendental spirit of each story told:
And I’ll be back again
and again
and again
and again
and again

Comfort came from those clear and twangling echoes,
stoic reverberations of falling chains
like: Once upon a time I had a sullen soul
now under a most redemptive rain
I don’t.


© CMR, 2014