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Bio: Josh Dale holds a BA in English from Temple University and has been previously published in Black Elephant Literary Magazine, Dead Snakes, Peeking Cat Poetry, Madness Muse Magazine, Indie Affair Magazine, The Naga, and Hyphen. A short story writer by heart. A craft beer enthusiast by soul. You may find him acquiring paper cuts at his small press, Thirty West Publishing House, founded in November 2015. This press focuses on hand-made chapbooks and weekly guest columns.
Gathering of Shadows
A swirling drain hole of black,
taking everything down with the goo of my innards.
A viscous bile covering, sticking to my hands.
A sloppy murk is what my heart has become.
Sickly and liquefied; the solid state of matter
is futile, let alone feasible.
Splattering it all along the wall,
while mocking the Picasso I never was.
Like a child making mud pies,
what a rank innocence to be had.
Then I realize, the stitches were never meant to be sewn,
and I shall continue to seep more and more
until the breath is expunged and the last drop dribbles out.
Acknowledgement: \’Gathering of Shadows\’ 1st. pub. Hyphen, Spring 2016 (Temple University) 2nd pub. Duality Lies Beneath (2016, Thirty West Publishing House)
Ok, first off, any poet who is going to mention Picasso in one of their poems even in the slightest of capacity is pretty alright in my book — I\’ve been a lover of Picasso\’s work since I was 13 years of age.
I read this poem a few times and something came to mind — it was a lotus flower. I don\’t know, if you know much about lotus flowers but, they thrive in the muck. I kept seeing a baby lotus attempting to break through and open but, was choked by the passage of time — where nothing came to fruition! Sad but immensely tragically beautiful! This may sound like a morose thought but there is dignity is passing with grace and fighting up until your last days — for something in which you believe in.
The rain is but a hum
or a pitter-patter
of the child I bore
in the afterlife,
or lack thereof.
The obsession of the wax upon the pane
like semen to the womb.
We are getting fucked by the rain
and all we do is squint through the blinds
like we are opening our eyes underwater.
I am the conjunction of the tributary,
where the species of fish coincide with no borders.
We navigate these tides like Jesus
to the mighty hands of John;
the strongest of us gods must be born again.
By the river.
In the water.
The sky is blue as the water
for a sphere we come back around again
imprisoned in a rain drop just to plummet
into an eventually evaporation.
I see me
the reflection shimmers no lies
but then it pops into thin air
despite the hold it recollects.
All we do is breath in the rain
and watch it dribble down our cheeks.
All we do is listen to the hum
to quiet the insects we are afraid to breathe in.
Standing in the rain, allowing it to saturate your body with drops that fall from a sky — that could care less as to who you are or what you are doing. As I read this poem, I thought about an oubliette crafted with nothing but, rainwater coming down consistently in a box no bigger than 5 feet by feet.
I have to admit I read this section repeatedly as it resonated with me.
“ We are getting fucked by the rain
and all we do is squint through the blinds
like we are opening our eyes underwater.”
If you come to think about it, water is essential to life but; has indeed caused humanity and our earth eternal havoc through: tsunamis, floods and even the simplest of rain showers. There is much comfort in the short staccato claps that in of themselves create a rain storm but much destruction as well.
Staring at the window
after a stormy day
and seeing the accumulated
rain drops trickle down.
Each drop: a tear, a memory
of celestial beings, poisoned
by noxious fumes.
Some run fast;
the wax of life.
Some remain still
and accumulate rainbows.
Some days, I just want to shout at the rain,
to tell them–those heavenly deities–
everything will be alright;
purged and washed away.
Acknowledgement: \’#94\’ prev. pub. Black Elephant Literary Magazine, Issue 1
As children one thing that our parents constantly told us during thunderstorms — was that God and the angels are bowling — that is why thunder claps are so loud. Now, as an adult that is the first thing that came to mind as I read #94. To think of a small insignificant human, yelling at the rain to comfort those celestial beings above us — who probably feel pity for humans on a whole — is an incredibly empathetic thought. It genuinely brings us all to the same level.
To be frank, I enjoyed this poem because I relish the concept of small little items being able to hold inside of them an existential item so profound such as a memory. We can never quantify memories except through our imagination as their weight is consistently evident but ever transparent.