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Poetry Month: Stealing Their Spirit

April 18, 2016

In honor of poetry month, I thought it would be fun to post five poems in the next five days.  This one (‘Stealing Their Spirit’) originally appeared in ArtVoice in 2007 under the wrong title (‘Prize Fighters’).  It’s from my first book of poems Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse (2008, Doubt It Publishing). 

 

stealing their spirit

i used to take photographs

of the girls I wanted so desperately

to sleep with.

 

there are albums filled with their

quizzical wonder

impromptu smiles

forlorn profiles

in dim lit bars

as the flash

took them by surprise.

 

these were shortly

followed by landscape

scenarios

with the muse in question

somewhere in the foreground

taken with the camera

and the man behind it.

 

then bedroom motifs

ruffled hair

morning breath and no makeup

dark sunrises where sex hid

in dawn shadows

in black & white

 

turn the page and they are gone

not a trace

no hint as to what transpired

the blossoming subject

vanished;

replaced by a new lass

a new love

as long as the 35 mm rolls contended.

 

no sign of a fight

nor glimpse of hurt feelings

drunken fumblings

discovered cheating

just rolling pastures, crisp monochrome profiles

& the sweeping ephemera

of neon bar signs, snowscapes,

bedposts, apartments in

dissarray

shortly followed by their replacement.

my camera couldn’t take it

anymore

the girls couldn’t take it

anymore.

 

-i ran out of albums

undeveloped rolls of film

sat unexposed and neglected in glove compartments

camera suitcases filled with film paraphenalia

catch-all desk drawers

with miscellaneous forgotten keepsakes

they leer back at me

in so many years

the grins and captured laughs

curtsies and wise assed smiles

saying ‘fuck you, tom,

look what you did

to me’

 

‘it started innocently

enough

you took it away

you stole it

you botched it

this youth

this puppy love

this idle romance

the dinner date

the second drink

the afternoon rendevouz

the fuck in the car at 3 in the morning

it’s gone.’

-fading away on double prints

gathering dust and I found someone else

stuck in a drawer and I found someone

better

the spine is cracking on the album

and I miss you.

 

i stopped taking pictures

of women

i’m attracted to

because pieces of me

wound up on the film

too.

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