“text as flirtation” and “unstable” by Kelly Neal

“text as flirtation” and “unstable” by Kelly Neal

text as flirtation

I cannot read semaphore’s flags’

sharp angles and pops anymore

than I can translate my desire

into a clarity across the sea

dividing my heart and yours.

The distance between what I say

and how I long to mouth my words

along your skin with open kisses,

until you whisper your primal name

into the imagined storm’s night,

prevents me from muttering more

than words draped in metaphor’s silk

upon this page for you to decipher

into a singular understanding.


“the millstones

 commenced their grinding again”

                    –Denise Levertov

I am only

a tremble

in this air,

which I gulp

as if drowning

in a water far deeper

than I could ever

wade before


beneath the surface

with a last

quick thrash.

This morning

at the rear of the meeting,

I read poetry

as they sold

their promises

of puffery

and change

without change,

and felt fragments

blister and flake

from my soul

like painted facades

in the sharp summer

light until only

tears remained

to rise

against the broken levee.

Kelly Neal lives, teaches, and writes in central Texas. He received degrees in literature from the University of Texas at Austin, and the Bread Loaf School of English. After 25 years of only sharing his poetry with a small sampling of friends, he recently had poems published by The Axe Factory, A Literation, roguepoetry review 2015, and Viewfinder Literary Magazine. Kelly is currently finishing a project based upon the tarot, “Arcana,” with his sister Donna Neal, a digital artist and painter. Find more of his poems at www.layeredwords.blogspot.com.

Category : Issue Three December 2016 Tags : ,

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