Today's poem is by Glenn Shaheen


There is play between us there is a play

characters whose gravities spill across

each other paints on a workshop floor

you take the role of countermand I'll

take the role of litigating monster a play

works with an audience or it works

without an audience the audience made

of the players or the endowment itself

a role becomes intuitive worn like robes

in the cold or modest morning who knows

who looks in through the windows is

there trickery here in which I wear love's

false cloak the character whose lines

become entangled with my own a song

an unfamiliar syntax that invades the unique

patterns of speech and thought I've spent

years shaping the line is in an unnatural

meter the play was cancelled it was said

to be finished and the scripts shredded

but a different play arises too from the

shed robe a mist a declaration repeated

a certain number of times until it is truth

a character portrayed by hundreds of

actors that lives for hundreds of years

did I mean to embody a scene to acclaim

the strings revealed to a nodding audience

or did the scene erupt from some inner

script ah hold me says the doctor it is not

a unique endowment to be suddenly

trapped by marriages shifting as the pit

conductor motions for the minor keys to be

alighted the audience morose yet applauding

Copyright © 2014 Glenn Shaheen All rights reserved
from Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily!

Home   Web Weekly Features  Archives   About Verse Daily   FAQs   Submit to Verse Daily   Follow Verse Daily on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2014 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved