“OMNIBUS/AUTUMN” A Poem By Erick Mertz


"Omnibus/Autumn" A Poem By Erick MertzOurs is a precision based on inertia.

The autumn lexicon

possesses no single word for gravity,

or retrieval,

nothing to capture

restless breath of dusk freed yearling,

white hoofed, blind.

Silhouette of an older couple,

library couch

their backs to me, bodies dressed in easy softness.

I pass silently through a series of last days,

liquidation sales,

bar room ephemera,

tomorrow’s sidewalk scrap—


everything here,

described in this letter,

penned with a sweaty back pressed against crumbling mural wall.

We have run out of honey,

no solution.

Parallel lines vanish

in the distant

floor at your shuffling feet.

Tomorrow the trembling chamber of my flesh

kneels before

cold wood stove

in the usual prayer position.

I am horseshoe crab,

arriving here with a staggering frequency.

Copyright 2015 by Erick Mertz

About This Poem

A poem can come from many things. Sometimes the verse composes itself from a series of seemingly disconnected images, an empty honey jar, horseshoe crabs, an older couple cuddled at the library. With notebooks brimming with these tiny catharses, often a single organizing line brings them together. The first line, the curious tangle of inertia and precision.

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Read last week’s poem, “Charles Bukowski” here.

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