ditch,

the poetry that matters

David Winfield Norman

David Winfield Norman a writer based in the Chicago area, and caught somewhere between New Orleans and Reykjavík.  He won  2nd place for fiction in a UW-Whitewater contest and plans to study writing.

Mirror Glass

The cold and barren
asteroid, pen-bent
in its ink.  Sterile and removed.
I have had need
for a hail storm.

There has been an insane asylum here.
I know because the voices
are tubed and bottled inside the trees,
spilling out their mad, mad cloisonné designs.
They have made me lose my English.

I wander through the forest of dead
wood, creaking sounds, hollow viral little sounds,
stuck in an agravic fog, graying.
The sun is stupid and sedentary,
a bloated, flatulent head

that is covered slowly
by millions of gnat clouds.  Water bags,
bulbous pouches that feed
the fattening trees that abound.
The sun fades away like a baby ignored.

The drips are coming now,
rippling through paper leaves
and into tableaux of branches
and purple spines, lying tortured
in the trenches.

Ice eats down in its cold,
spoke drop.  It slices
itself, shatters from its own velocity.
It spreads over the asphalt,
tiny lice boils.  I repel

into the melodramatic trees,
knocking on door hollows.
There is no answer.  Ice
storms against me power-mad
and thrashing.

I go to the pipes aside the road,
and lie bone-white as a yarrow sprig
with my exoskeleton of boiled wax
tossed away.  The cold and quiet
shrivels it.  I lie, sigh,

with lactating worms at my side.
The hole I have dug into
is filled with shit, big composting
body, stuffed bird to the world.
In air the cold drives

at me, it drives in a chisel-wedge,
pulls my face taut.
It peels back my eyes,
fermenting them to cauterized
grapes, light and solemn
with a clean white pain
that senses wraiths.

  

Tributary

It taps and taps
Holding itself against an ocean
In a curtain, torn and tittering.
It maps me, and multiplies
Like a hideous crystal. 
 
Talons, they look at me.
I may want them to think
That I have something to hide,
These angering spectral things,
Poking from beneath hats. 
 
The noses, aquiline in their spearing
Team and swarm; I watch
Clandestinely enclosed in black glass,
My frozen bones pulling at themselves  

Dick, lick-round and waxen burned.
These reddened meat balls, so heartily proud,
Their fjord faces cliff out, squeelingly polishing
My mirror, big hairy head, feral 
 
From its top on down.  The waters swell
And fluct around them, heaping,
Buckets full, continents full.  The age of buildings
Crashes into them like glacier shards,
They pull at them, great wave claws, 
 
Tumult of orange noises,
And the fish thrown ashore. 
 
I am left behind the carnage,
Olded in a stillness that ripples around me.
So holy these circles that spread.
They echo over the liquefied land
As a low whistness,
Hiddenly carrying the angerful words
And my scalp which was seized
While I watched the waves crashing.
 


   
 

To Iceland
 

I sit in

An antechamber

And you are all

Around me.

You see,

Over your foggy bays

And your fjords

Full of mallow,

You follow

The freezing corners

Of my eyes, do.  You trace

A kohl on me,

Dark and breathing.

Black lace replace

Atrophying sweat glands.

I lengthen and loom me.

You see,

And your deep hollow

Through.  Sleep in deadened air,

Wind roil and breathe over stagnant

Gulf stream.

My eyes closed,

She howl boetian land away.

Yellow ropes do tangle

Fattened, anxious land

Who hold said me

Hvernig on no

Water.  In blackened vein

Skin light, vaporous

Incense of light reluctant,

You do come.

The whole of green mountains,

Tallying shards of crystalline cheek bones,

Rock away slumber with the sun.

Gnarled ustulate land wash down

Into candied whale blood,

Float sleeping aside ship bellies..

Be replaced by slinking

White of gently gummed larynx.

Holding the cold of inside

Shrill music then warmed and heartened,

It take my hand in cold,

Turn tips to niveous cliffs

Again looking away into the rest.

Hard back hold wooden teeth

Around mine head, wake me in middle.

I hope it will not be long until you find me again..

 
 
 

Shrunken Heads
 

Dank, dank, and callous

Drip, drip the walls

Whose lips envelope

And belly my arms.

I am trapped in a cave.

The glaring leather

And black straps

With luculent metal snaps

Like viper fangs

Are useless here.

The door closes

And I float into a bubble

Of fabricated laments, and of angles       

Bending into themselves

While a mouth blathers

Bilious, phrenic notes   

Scrawled across his moustache,

Grey and prickly

As a garden of grasses.

Gorgeous words.

So, so that they ought    

To have their own gorge.

These words like messy balloons

Pour out and pollute

My air.  I have done well

To condense it in my own jar,

My own space,

But these words

And their fat black lips

Suck away with meaty hands

Supping at my thin

Veil of a head.

They prong at it with instruments

Of Agamemnon gold

And aluminum, so wrinkled

They could hide even more caverns

In their folds.

The talk is its own anesthesia.

My neck is cranking,

Crooking, and my eyes

Glaze away, searching for focus

In the daze music.

The noise licks at my ears,

And only the lamp shines out

The faceless words.

There she sits,

Full and stout in her own Willendorf,

Congenially lisping the light

From her round, o round head.

A mother's head, warm head.

I love leaving the sofa.

The indentation I can sense,

My absence there,

Gives great comfort,

The hall widening like opened gates

Of magnum blue, gilt-choking plastic.

I think of it, my zero left behind,

When the little sandpaper hands

Cup at mine

Surrounded by Goliath sample pills,

And I remember the black leather glare,

Cold and smooth that looms like an ocean.

 
  
 

Bookmark and Share