Wandering fields and vacant barns back home, I learned to reload the camera deftly; I carried spare rolls of Kodachrome always. I knew or thought I knew the difference between subject and object, between the sun’s rising and its setting, between a lie and a fiction. One of these things is true: There are shadows on the cave wall, but they are not shadows. We’re all just Carthaginians at the foot of the Alps. There is no such thing as “history.” At least one of these things is true: Shadows themselves are objects; objects are progenitors only. Werewolf? Neither wolf nor man. A frost-blanketed field? No knowing what stirs beneath the soil’s frontispiece. The Twilight Zone = Eastern Standard Time. Truth or Fiction vs. Truth or Dare. Oh, these empty pockets. These muddled images. Brume-dimmed shapes in the distance. Hypnagogia vs. hypnopompia. Back home or here. I learned to speak with authority and to keep myself awake. I learned to fake a smile and feign agreement. Oh, your pockets are empty, too. You know, they don’t even make Kodachrome anymore. You’ll never see the Alps. I’ll never leave this dim cave. Truth is crepuscular. The best we can. The very best we can.
—Published previously in decomP (issue and year unknown); appears here with author’s permission.
is a public school teacher, occasional adjunct professor, and writer living in southern New Jersey. He works for Murphy Writing of Stockton University and for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s Poetry Program. Poems appear in anthologies from Jane Street Press, Serving House Books, and others, and in numerous journals, including KYSO Flash and Eyedrum Periodically.
Blue, climate-crisis haibun in KYSO Flash (Issue 5,
Untitled (Future), lineated poem in KYSO Flash
Yellow, prose poem in KYSO Flash (Issue 5)