Thursday, November 5, 2015

Three Poems by Peter Dabbene


My father died while I read a book
about stores of knowledge preserved by monks;
I missed my call to holy orders.

The shards and remnants of a meteoric life
spread wide and disparate on its elliptical return to earth;
voice mails retained and videos converted, I fight entropy,
doomed as regathering scattered ashes.

The fragments fell, formed pools and lakes and oceans,
surface sheen skimmed and saved while memories,
weighted by substance, sank to unrecoverable depths.
His presence disappeared, absorbed into the firmament,
omnipresent and inseparable and irretrievable.


Hands catch, release invisible motes
Out of ether, her tremors summon sound
Commanding the unseen, pulling notes
higher, then firmly pushing down

Calming with an upturned palm,
she feints again with fey aplomb

Like Tai Chi, smooth, precise; like Parkinson's, violent, harrowing
Like seizing a passing sparrow, squeezing just enough to make it sing
Against a background hum, coaxing music from the air
These are invoked ancient sounds of fear, the future, and of prayer

Aged closer to those mysteries,
she has reached her peak resolve
and sheds her painful histories
as the gathered notes dissolve

Eyes shut tight, she frowns as the wordless chanting slows
and wrinkles pinch once-perfect skin as her fingers pinch the close

The Magicians

The Magicians I knew always prized
the trick itself, more concerned with good
technique than dressy presentation
or the flourish of a waving hand

The practical over the sublime

Through short careers in vaudeville and
later, thrilling kids at birthdays,
their preferred routine never changed--
extracting coins from children's ears

For years, they always made the mortgage

With inflation, magic faltered
(bills don't have the weight or shine)
quietly vanishing
more perfectly than
anything they

Peter Dabbene's poetry has been published in many literary journals, and collected in the photo book Optimism.  He has published the graphic novels Ark and Robin Hood, the story collections Prime Movements and Glossolalia, and a novel, Mister Dreyfus' Demons.  His latest books are Spamming the Spammers and More Spamming the Spammers.  His website is

No comments:

Post a Comment