Steven Riley: the poet's poetry

Spring '14 TOC

28 miles to a city

big sky day, a poet’s poetry

knowing only one poem

the poet had written


one that did not satisfy


moved to hunger

not finished with her art

I drove to get to her words

not knowing her poetry would hurt


I did not drive to her to share her pain


she took her wounds and blood and loss

turned them into words

she must have laid them all out and stared

at the mangled aching mess they made

before her

her hands must have squeezed and shook them about

hoping to make some pain filled sense of them


I wanted them to let go of me

to forget that I had ever

stumbled upon these words, her pain


I wanted to fill my throat with the big blue sky

expel the ashes, dirt and blood of her anguish

her simple choices, small words, brief phrases

severed from the echoes of her beating childlike heart


I took them to eat

flesh of her flesh, blood of her blood

until I had the iron filled taste of them all

on my tongue, dripping from my gaping mouth

I was forced to look, to participate

in all the painful reminiscence

the unpleasant birth

her poetry and a poet

she, her words

a poet needing a poet


-Steven Riley



Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
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