Poetry by J. Alan Nelson Art by Brooke Welsh
You say image is not real,
reflections mean nothing.
All is symbolic only,
To look below the surface
is merely another surface
that’s only surface deep.
No matter how far the descent,
the hole’s bottom is simply another floor.
Your pain belies a symptom of deeper problems,
your poem connotes cavernous connotations
as the sky hides the vast universe
of a billion billion galaxies
as well as a comet
that in two weeks
you spot with binoculars.
You draw figures in wet cement
but once it hardens
not much short
of hammers and chisels can alter the image.
Melancholy will change nothing.
Misery doesn’t create enough pressure
to shape diamonds.
I slide on a vaquero’s hat
on the skull that houses
a mind that turns
to you under the winter moon.
Some believe it’s your spirit
that causes the thunder to shake us.
However, I must stoop before the real,
fate some call it, ill luck by others
as life’s brief hope alters to grief
that all must live through.
I avoid the deeper pools,
but walk on the surface with care
and light my candle
to start my trek
through anonymous fields.
Susan and the Centaur
I spend six months in bed where I read constantly until:
she whispers her plans to mate with a centaur
sibilant hums the thawing bees
in the honeycomb of my brain
stunned by Susan’s terrible beauty
the ass’s bone resonates
in my dropped jaw
as the honey sluggishly drips
as anticipation shocks through me
shudders my vertebral notches
as I consider the insane sweetness.
Her eyes overflow
with ghastly, radiant hope
like the buzzing words that swarm
my mind’s silent intimacy, staggered
by her small, explicit movements
as she preens for the act.