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Poems By Poet Patti Masterman  7/10/2014 11:35:55 PM
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Reading a Poem Out Loud

When I have to read one of my poems out loud
My voice can suddenly go missing, disappear to somewhere invisible;
To my ears it almost sounds like the voice of another, who's reading-
Not that it takes time to pack a suitcase, or buy a ticket anywhere;
It's not going that far, not as far as yesterday,
Nor as distant as tomorrow.

And if there's an audible failure of the syllables, now and then,
It's because the voice of someone else is not easy to control;
The volume and tone, the vibrato, and that sound of stifled tears;
It's only the frustration of trying to speak out loud, with an entirely different voice

And of having to speak to an unknown future, that's floating in irresolute space;
One that echoes back with each word, a vast silence of held breath;
Like a stadium of ghosts, full of prickling eyes and ears, all tuned on me-

It's going to take a lot of practice to get the tone right,
And to make the lips and tongue get in sync
With all that unleashed emotion.
Patti Masterman



Real Poetry Inspires More of the Same

Real poetry inspires more of the same: you read a few lines,
Concentrating on the words, though really you're thinking
Of the memories triggered; half formed concepts
Which your own mind has been belaboring, in daydreams and sleep-
Even some things you would swear you had never seen before.

An intense itch begins at the back of the eyeballs
And slowly slides down between the eyes
But sometimes this can be instantaneous-
As when, one minute ago, you were watching a twisting cyclone
And the next, you find that you're inside the cyclone; that quickly.

And then something like a predigested sneeze begins to work itself
Back into your brain; it comes to you then
That you're pregnant, and have already felt the quickening
And then the clutch engages and the gears mesh;
The laser beam lights up the encrypted surface.

Time has to stop, right where it is-
You look up to notice that a sacred moment might be happening
Over on the far horizon, but no- you have become the farthest horizon;
And you, the sanctity; and you also, the sun, moon, and heavenly bodies:
You are the world, getting ready to push it's own body out again.

The words and images begin to flow
Like a drain that has suddenly cleared itself,
Just seconds before midnight,
So that the flood is no longer a damnation;
Now it flows freely down your arm, your pen.

Organizes it's own spine, organs, muscles and skin;
Lymph channels and neural divisons:
An artificial intelligence has just given birth to itself
In between the glowing meridians of the page-
And then it opens it's new eyes, and blinks back at you,
Filled up with only your own sense of wonder.
Patti Masterman




Through so many brains we've viewed the array
We find or dismiss odd parts of the whole
Deep in skulls cauldron, the wayward senses mix
While old men keep shouting to mind the soul
And empty graves leering up at the sky
They know who'll be filling them up by and by
A factory setting quite deftly disguised
To hide the conveyor belt sandwiched beneath
Nothing can last here, we've often surmised
Before we're much wiser the picture's compete
Our bodies of stardust enrich the loam
We'll never stray far from the star we call home
The days of our lives will disperse like wind
In total, we arrive and depart, without friend
And the rack and pinion of all we think real
Begins to dissolve with the loss of one wheel.
Patti Masterman




Take up the raw word still dripping, with tongs
Hurl it randomly through air
Pay no attention where it lands
Rearrange the thought, beyond reason
Place it beside rare symphonies
Blowing through the woods at moon tide
Blend it with cast off flower petals
And sprinkle with a fallen star:
Do not stir.
Patti Masterman
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Poems By Poet Patti Masterman