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Poems By Poet Patti Masterman  10/3/2015 11:58:45 PM
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My Plain Face

If finding emptiness, instead of the world,
And what the world thinks beautiful; worthwhile-
I can't help it if I'm made this way,
Though for some reason, I can barely stay

Safe in the doorway, as they make their jokes;
And all the randomness, that our lives cloak,
But if depressed, I've always been the same-
Finding both the self and not-self, strange.

It seems in pieces, and I've done my share
To try to catalog my vague despair;
That I'm a stranger, in a stranger place:
It's written plainly, on my more plain face.
Patti Masterman



My Rigor Mortis

My rigor mortis is never mentioned
Anymore at parties;
I stick myself to one wall, mothlike
And the conversation goes on all around me,
As though nothing were out of the ordinary.

Though sometimes I do stiffen up
A little too much, and then a dolly is required
To remove me at evening's end;
But at least I am at full length then
And not curled up like a pretzel.

Complications are bound to arise:
It becomes harder to speak each day
As my brain is disengaged
Within my corpus, from profundity-
It's unhappy, that writing is out of the question.

When curious strangers ask
How I came to be in such a condition,
My family finds it difficult to answer
Because I started out like everyone else
But then increasingly came to deny my own existence

As an act of random cruelty,
By a creator at the mercy of whim:
If life made any sense at all, we would begin as rotting corpse
And slowly retrograde, all the way back to babyhood;
And die drooling and gurgling,
While smelling very sweetly-
And die without a care.
Patti Masterman



My Soul Into Granite

My soul, into granite
Into quartz; into feldspar-
The flesh world can't hold
My roving mind, bold

Ever changing flares, but
Where's the base layer-
Reached not by prayer
That time hasn't raked

My soul's been naked,
For two billion years
O, clothe me in starlight,
In pure dreams of suns, bright

The universe of substance
Subside into me-
I just want to stay true
To myself, in that light

(written to Kelpe, Half Broken Harp)
Patti Masterman



My Soul Is Not Poetry

My soul is not poetry inside of it
and it is nothing pretty;
My insides are dead, rotting rhododendrons
beside a rusting pitch-fork
inside a barn, deserted for the last fifty years
and too dangerous, to ever go into.

But if it could go inside,
My un-poetry'd soul would hop, crawl, and climb,
in spite of its lameness
up the rickety old ladder, to the hayloft,
And there eat the little green apples,
already wormy
from the gnarled tree, outside the window.

My soul would peer out the window and look for any signs
of the once-life that used to abide here-
To feed it's ravenous hunger for poetry
and then develop the unavoidable belly-ache.

Of course, I know lots of others
whose soul is not poetry, either;
And we are all trying to re-light the same matches
once struck by people, who had flames burning them inside

Which they dutifully copied down onto damp, tear-stained pages;
(so the words would not burn up the paper)
And then there were the copy machines,
and printing presses, to duplicate their fires-
Like carrying a bit of coal to the next door, and the next one
so that everyone could have a bit of fire in Winter.

And the thick water, of all the world's approbation
soothed their old, weeping wounds
While the rest of us not-poets huddled around not-fires
in cold deserted barns,
and picked fresh flowers every day

So that we could earnestly watch them die
all over again, each day,
and pronounce it poetry,
while nobody noticed how many words
we managed to hemorrhage out.
Patti Masterman
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Poems By Poet Patti Masterman