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[a flow-poem composed after a week of stuck]


Broken Pier

by Catherine Owen


I look at the degraded river & say I love you


I look at the degraded river & say I love you

and mourn that they are perfecting its shorelines

without returning any purity – but there has always


been this yearning in the artist towards childhood

& its fire, to wanting others to see this and they mostly

not – so a state of grief is far from uncommon


and can wash over everything sometimes saying –

you are incapable of doing the one thing that

brings you joy, bequeaths meaning –


there is an incompleteness to it always,

like love because of mortality, and remaining

in that place of uncertain, often graceless,


sorrow at the improbability of ever

being able to accomplish what the imagination

holds holy & told you from first & always


was essential is, for days at a time, problematic,

even painful to the point of devastation, of the self,

others too, not to compare this end to anything else


and there are those who claim it is choice, one

can cease, no one is telling you to make art

in this world, but I have never felt it as a releasable


proposition: there is a pact & no you don’t have to

support anything resembling beauty – the sun so hot

today for nearly mid-Autumn and in the sky a raucousness


of crows, a swallow in its singing-niche between them.