Volume 4 Issue 1, April 2020

Stephen Mead



tall   broad   sky
celestial   viscera
(more than)
the fireworks   of stars

& drunk
to emphasize
(the word)

(if only)
(whole   then)
(releasing   trees)
(straining   upward)
(peace   academies)
(brick-less   lightning)

(with all)
(instants   comprising)
at   its
(discus   hurled)
ad infinitum



Dream Someone New


Angel on paper,
watercolor dissolve
into silk,
the outline burst
where hues once were
a flash on my vision
The wings felt,
the surface under----
Rich  dark,
deeper light
& no explaining
what seeps through skin
to beam from eyes,
the outer-most rim
of every limb
waiting to give
feel reception
should an angel


The Botanist’s Romance


Everything is so bewitching,
filled with the particular light and silence
I crave most.  Everything-----
a dazing blanket,
the radiance so peaceful
its softness surrounds.

At least this is the way it seems to me.
Exhilarant,  gleaming and smiling,
content to myself,
I pace the clean corridors and drift
like an angel past these plant’s feral rows.

As though held aqueous, under a spell,
such herbage is lush with an earthy
sensuous fragrance.  It flowers thin
and incandescent as something grown
beneath a forest’s emerald roof.

Of course this ceiling is slanted though,
and clearly yellow with the light
specifically designed for such greenhouses.
It can’t be found anywhere else.

At first the luminosity is dense.
But gradually flowers bloom and consume it
with an ungodly racket.

Their petals smudge my eyes like ashes.
Their stamens are the nucleus
from which all living things glimmer.

At the tide’s peak the moon collaborates.
Then their moisture content is at its height.
Then they are one with both sea and moon,
having nothing to do with me whatsoever.

An inferior beast, they think I use up their air.
I’m bothersome to them as the moths
their petals resemble.
Those moths pick and batter away 
at the blossoms to eat the one they’re most like.

I tell you, they seem jealous, as am I.
I, like the moths, am a lunar casualty
to this chaos.

Daylight comes.  Again green enters.
This brilliance should be enough,
but desire remains.




To Obsess Less


To not be a slave,
to have eyes of vital clarity
following the trail of yours’
on a waitress, on the busboy,
& to know where the door is
so either one of us can pass.

How weightless is this love,
or at least attempting to be,
& neither one of us a villain
in what a different love 
would imply.

Testing the waters,
the undertow’s lip
& so hip to the waves
for frolicking or drowning…

What trust if not for light,
a mental escape hatch 
& no noose when you were new
to me as a realized hope
I’d do anything to have.

Defying need, defying idealism,
defying even commitment’s ancient thirst
with senses wide as a palm
over one long open flame…

Yes, I’d let the heat pass skin.
Yes, I’d live in an intimate moment.
Yes, no dream of trust,
your bond to me a chum’s,
& my body would shed its glass.

That’s why I thought
we’d better not start,
yet saw only your lips whisper
& started anyway.




Stage Fright


Will the rain be the red 
of carnations or radishes?
Mustn't ask or predict either.
Must just open as an opal
to Legend's armor owned.

Ah Maria, come be Callas fortification again,
arms now the spears raised, hands now
the tongues of doves...

But what of those curtain calls
with so much hissing from the wings?

But what of humiliations' haunt,
that prolonged laughers' babble?

Cannot Medea answer back 
with louder silencing notes?
Cannot Norma ward off the scorning paralysis
& Barbiturate jitters?

For years a patience near mysticism
battened down hatches.  
For years a fatalist's trust knew the universe
still cupped her in its design
despite how obscure the meaning
or how often the answers were cruel.

This is how she abandoned the jewel of her love
to the pull of another's willful pathology.
This is how Aristotle possessed her regeneration
for life, but betrayed the womanhood 
at last set free from stone.

So are her arias yet set free in the rain of old records.
As a shut-in she remembered with them,
her voice shredded, her edifice crumbling
but some ancient ovation stood to bow
beyond all brutality, & weather what living nightmare
the diva knew as mortal truth.





About the Poet

A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer. He is Artist/Curator for the LGBTQI historical site, The Chroma Museum, https://thestephenmeadchromamuseum.weebly.com/.  Since the 1990s he's been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online.  He is also grateful to have managed to keep various day jobs for the Health Insurance. In 2014 he began a webpage to gather various links to his published poetry in one place, http://stephenmead.weebly.com/links-to/poetry-on-the-line-stephen-mead.

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Published by The Alternative.