Two Poems

Erosion 6

To be beautiful is to learn
to fight with an open fist:
make-up is a war-paint.
Pecans darken in wet

fall grass,and we can
make out the ghosts
with dyed-red hair,
whose breath smelled

of bourbon. There is
no audience here, a love
of landscape moves beyond
her face. The countryside

wrinkles and unwrinkles
in the grasslands. Outside
renunciation, I am dregs
of absolute being. Ugliness

is skin deep, beauty is the
symmetrical application
of delusion.Good geometry
can change your life: forever

joined, forever apart like a
nut split and the shell discarded.
In the end it rains men and women–
Unforsaken, insolent, naked.

Erosion 8

Wet dreams about Mary Poppins
erupt and burst in boyhood, Julie
Andrews face guiding me to rituals
of dull caprice. The rest of this I hid:

you don’t understand. Comedic my
self-control: sometimes I say too much.
Let the is speak for itself: times when I
was with you, I was really not myself

but I didn’t want the truth, with each
new scenario, we kept the joking coming.
Chosen for and chosen by the elect
clamoring for some new heaven, erected

like cars rutting on summer asphalt. Between
the birthmark and the stain, you became
so many people. Mary Poppins sugared
spoons no longer have the erotic tinge:

you who you wish to control the pain,
the gout in your metaphors, the shattered
tooth leaving splinters. For unburdening,
I will not kneel and grotesque, I will undress

watching my hairs gray, shadowing the wounds.
We will not certify our pains: I have longed for
you, desire gone away. Feel the yammering
at the mouth, it is your turn beloved ghost,

there are emotions to be overwritten and songs
to be unsung. Another woman will sleep with me,
and probably another with you. I have said it
all, and wall between our past and our fading

abrades against the sand. But what a hope,
neither starved nor cold. The autumn cherry
blossoms fall in romantic decadence, we
deliberately muddy the imaging. The pollen

chokes the sky green and yellow, you pull another
gray hair out my stubble. In that moment, we touched
and in nothing could be said. Age, my mask,
it’s your turn. I hear Julie Andrew’s whispers.

C. Derick Varn has served as managing editor for the now defunct Milkwood Review. He won the Frankeye Davis Mayes/Academy of American Poets Prize in 2003 and have recently published poems in Backwards City Review, Cartier Street Review, Deuce Coupe, Rusty Truck, JMWW Magazine, Writing Disorder and Unlikely Stories 2.0. He is the co-founder and co-editor of Former People, a freelance reader for Zero Books, and a co-host of several podcasts including Symptomatic Rednesss, Former People Speak, and Pop the left. He is originally from the deep South of the US, but has become a nomad and has lived in South Korea, Mexico, and will soon be moving to Egypt.

One thought on “Two Poems

  1. Pingback: Four Poems. | Symptomatic Commentary

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