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the Myth of meaning: a collection of poems

Updated on April 29, 2009

The following poems are all the original work of Clark Waggoner and are solely his intellectual property.  

(c) 1999-2009 Clark Waggoner

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let me sleep...

Choir loft boy chants echo ‘na-na-na-na-na-na-na’ 
As the quilt is quilted with thimbled lips. 
Blindfolds and rocking chairs 
Grandma is sleeping at the top of the stairs. 

the basement steeps in steam and leaves 
the windows glow with down and meaning 
the doorbell rings in hidden patterns 
and the ceiling arches into antiquity 

a single candle burned the ocean. 
a single tear restored a painting 
a single note quenched eternity 
two turtledoves—my house is empty. 

And grandma falls, and stops the flooding 
And the choir falters and saves a century 
And the candle burns and grows up next to me 
And I lose my book as I start dreaming 

A doorbell rings and it reminds me 
of all the things no-one answers 

the last moment of the day--you are falling asleep and everything blurs, and for a moment--a brief moment, everything makes sense in a beautiful and strange way. 

the play's the thing...

A thousand wilted questions
Strained in a hundred earthen jars
A courtyard fantasy in the form of bed sheet tapestries
And a little girl with blue eyes and a broken arm
Endless possibilities stored in
Three concise words.
Bring her flowers or medicine
Watch her father die in bed
Her laughter sounds more like wisdom
Than all the elders quiet words.
In the back of the auditorium:
The horses steal their oats
And the whitest white who never speaks
Smiles and loves the girl.

The truth moves in colors on sheets white as snow
Someone sees his brother, someone remembers home
And the three young boys put in charge of drawing circles
Swing round and round forever, round and round together
While their faces slide from young to old to young to old.

All the world's a stage with a little girl on the throne.
The wise men love to see it, the young girls love to belong.
All the world's a stage with a bed sheet for a home
The mothers love to hear it, their sons love to add-on

While at the back of the auditorium the oats grow fresh
And the whitest white stands up for the curtain call.

tuesday in the afternoon

the city is always changing 
it’s always one step ahead 
one block behind 
as she twists and curls herself about your footsteps like branches. 
and the thing that sticks most 
was the outline in his back pocket 
the outline that should have been round 
and not at all like it was. 
when you are lost in a city that has no curves 
and the only other person there has that thing in his pocket 
you stare. 
the thing about the city, or rather 
the thing about tuesday in the afternoon 
is the way the city pants on your belly 
like a girlfriend drenched in herself. 
she intoxicates you with waves of heat 
that roll like flesh when you don’t want it to. 

if you could name such a city, one that 
makes you feel like a whore just for looking at a cab 
if you could put your finger on the one thing 
that makes remembering her muggy streets worth while 
i’d call her brittany. because brittany is a girl 
i’ve never met and never touched and never known 
and never loved and most of all never felt guilty for wanting. 

and a city with no name is a girl with no face. 
and those two things are just as safe as they are real. 
and they are just as real as they are worth remembering.

the rule of thumbs...

A thousand angry thumbs 
Stuck in the tiniest little hole 
And all her perfect words 
Never made the final cut 
Of what really happens 

I don’t want a thing but gasoline 
And a reason to twist the knife 
So cut my heart out of your page 
And paste it to my chest 
And run like you have somewhere to go 

There is nothing on these streets 
that hasn’t made the front page 
and how I hate the front page 
so let's get off these streets 

there is nothing worth repeating 
that hasn’t been said behind my back 
and there is no place worth driving 
that’s so far I can’t get back 

she had a reason to break the rule of thumbs 
but she had no reason to see what we’d become 
so she flies 
she flies like she can land 
and live to talk about it 

requiem for a nursery

…then a broken promise stained the floor— 
She spilled her secrets in uphill currents 
Little girl whispers, and unspoken fears 
Across the memories of playroom dishes 
And freshly cut hair. 
His long savored secret is stuck on the ceiling 
And the boys outside could hear the screaming. 

Two blue stars are lost in what was a promise. 
And wisdom hides inside backward eyes, 
While the bubble on her lip bursts quietly 
Straighten your dress, and wipe your lips 
Close the door and close the door. 

The spinning wheel has pricked her finger 
And a thousand thorns have grown round her kingdom 
Now a broken tower tears apart her dresses 
While she sleeps and dreams she doesn’t remember 
--This pale faced paper doll with scarred over eyelids 
And delicate fingers woven together like seaweed-- 
I shift my weight while holding my hat, 
Hoping my kiss can wake her. 

With unfit hands and untrained eyes 
I try to refit the diamonds. 
With nervous looks and sudden jerks 
We try to fit together. 
With a bandage far and away too small 
She tries to stop the bleeding. 
Without a way to stop its progress 
I struggle to push back the water. 
While blue eyes watch the water freezing 
An inch, or eternity, above her. 

She slips in among the ocean’s secrets 
That sleep with seaweed covered features 
And does one starfish even matter? 
And what could keep her in the water? 

juxtaposed to loneliness

Watching with every last dream and desire
Suspended between your world and mine
While furious beasts blew round the heaven
And shook and rattled the very foundation
In glee as fulfilling as tyrannous victory.
(rotten lot they were alright)
They come in their splendor, their glory and beauty.
Bright beacons serving for eyes shone with awe
As wings of colors unspeakably beautiful flew.
But the teeth that bespoke of battle and ruin
Came together with defiance and anger.
In dreams they haunted me while you waited.
In dreams they came while we tried.
In my dreams they killed everything I imagined
Was beauty in your eyes.                       …No blinking kid

Short-wave, science-fiction novel, please remember
To obliterate superfluous personnel after initial recitation
It’s impossible to delay it for all of them now,
But we can deploy the anti-gov. type X guys for confusion.
After all…..

               …night still falls (exit).


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    • jeremiahjpwalton profile image

      Jeremiah Walton 6 years ago from New England

      Great poetry. Check out my website for my poetry Tell me what you think in the contact box. If you have a website we could back link each other (I have a recommended authors section)

    • sharrie69 profile image

      sharrie69 8 years ago from Trinidad (an island in the Caribbean)

      The plays the thing reminds me of Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird" - broken arm, whitest white that loves her...

      Nice images Genius kid. Very TS Elliot some of them...and very much you as well