no one looks at ghosts

what do you write – what do those words mean
when your reading cadence measured
slow your voice rich and radio friendly
the material not so much
i’m no longer that young idealist
protesting the WTO, yelling at a line of federal agents
pulled down in time by those in the back
before a stream of burning liquid sears my eyes


on the train watching cherry blossoms whiz by
Thom Yorke’s falsetto a repeated reminder
this is f*cked up.
on a two month down in the sinkhole of depression
partially functional
listening to the beats drop mournful angst on the playlist labeled
yt gal music


stored collection of downlifting tempos
on a loop sway alongside complicated loss
or in bed – cocooned sadness
the tired adage a counterbeat:
depressed folks see the world as is
i’m certain the sheets have shifted
to accommodate the bed’s depression shaped by my skin and bones
i’ve been a funk of pain


stare at the ceiling my artist’s canvas
amongst the popcorn
exhaled worries a surrealist vision of where we’re headed
no one looks at ghosts whose maw gape open
shout warning
our world is on fire i’ve collected tired selfish fears
ash rains through closed fists


form charcoaled letters perhaps we’ll read the signs first no one sees ghosts

nor do they hear them

This poem “no one looks at ghosts” originally appeared in Canadian Literature 248 (2022): 172-173.

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