Thursday Apr 18

Philip Memmer is the author of three books of poems: Lucifer: A Hagiography (Lost Horse Press, 2009), winner of the 2008 Idaho Prize for Poetry; Threat of Pleasure (Word Press, 2008), winner of the 2008 Adirondack Literary Award for Poetry; and Sweetheart, Baby, Darling (Word Press, 2004). His poems have appeared in such journals as Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and Mid-American Review, and in several anthologies. He lives in Deansboro, New York, and directs the YMCA's Downtown Writer's Center in Syracuse.
In the field I loved for its emptiness
we built a house. In the house
you loved for its newness
we hung old photographs—
the two of us
toasting at forgotten parties,
kissing on the lips
of distant canyons.
To these, time brought dust
and we neglect, and later
the careless hands
of children, their affection for us
breaking the glass
and driving the shards
through our faces—the faces
of children, it seems,
now that I’ve come to love
emptiness, and can imagine
without horror
the peace of the ground of the field,
who can recall exactly
what it was I drank
too much of, but not
the last name of the girl
who stands between us,
arms round our creased waists,
though the party
must have been hers
and the half of her smile untorn
seems still to love us.
To a Moth Trapped in a Dream Catcher
“Safe Passage for Good Dreams Only” – the sales tag.
You there, all tangled up
in the bedside web of twine—
what do you want with me?
Or were you mine already
and trying to leave?
I almost know enough about dreams
to read your night-black eyes,
but even considering everything
your kind has done to me,
how could I leave you here,
breaking your dusty wings
against the wall?
I’m no one’s idea of light,
not even yours, but try to remember
who shook you loose,
though his closet was full
of dark wool clothes,
though his only desire was to sleep.