Two Poems

by William Derge

Bodice Ripper

Such clarity denied
some just lie down
all the gold clinking
You though
rags in hand
maintain reliquaries of lesser wonder
burnishing with muted passion
the bone obscurer
one drop in the solution
one locking into another
scolding the ocean
Now you descend an altered webbing
hair piled up to winning
the comfort of passing
beneath perfect unconstructed arches
the questions left for doing
not so lightened
is ever lulled
to satisfied

Mortal Deeds/Venial Doubts

Words lifted
in the thief’s timing
here and there
they grow to boundless
That first utterance though
out of seeming nowhere
a cavern of stalagmites
drops of liquid stone
then fear
then pleasure
the sharpened branches
laid in the fire
an ear out there to listen
or refuse to listen
They have hardened into opaqueness
a pillar against silence
science misspelled ad infinitum
Each emission demanding
some rite
Magic breaths
freak contortions of the tongue
In the midst of it all
I want to make one tongue clear
I want to make one

William Derge’s poems have appeared in Negative Capability, The Bridge, Artful Dodge, Bellingham Review, and many other publications.  He is the winner of the $1000 2010 Knightsbridge Prize judged by Donald Hall and second place winner of the Rainmaker Award judged by Marge Piercy.   He has received honorable mentions in contests sponsored by The Bridge, Sow’s Ear, and New Millennium, among others.  His work has appeared in several anthologies of Washington poets:  Hungry as We Are and Winners.

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