Posted in interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry

framed in solitude | gary lundy

it feels as if death the only reward whether

for friends or strangers we've lost the appeal of 
a promise of years to come unaffected by 
momentary surprises you tool around town 
defying calls toward turmoil while most lie 
immersed in shallow panicked breaths skin itch 
tingles unattended it seems not to matter what 
language greets at birth the side of any road 
splits open scattering impotent seeds the drought 
now so prevalent we must accustom ourself to 
the limited volume of cessation five shot dead 
including probable head of household and how 
attracted authority figures are to the fatality of 
knees on back of necks only race a permissible 
excuse we watch as a parent walks the 
neighborhood carrying their growing child and 
responsibility living in an environment where 
vehicles required in order to run even short trips 
you were impressed learning how little they had 
in savings still equaled your yearly salary while 
several state governments lay claim upon all land 
access still preoccupied with the genitals of 
children no wonder we all feel a recoil under thin 
layers of flesh you notice their nipples harden 
whenever you finally decide to leave
Framed in Solitude -1
Digital landscape
©Michael Dickel

that’s what can happen after spending months

framed in solitude when a crumb from sandwich 
startles as it hits floor every physical pleasure 
renounces presence how a page read 
disappears as quietly as it was brought to mind 
we team up with neighbors to solve a crisis of 
monetary valuation when the you vanishes 
along with any thought uttered to halt the 
displacement what to think when the crowd 
peopled by lost relatives friends peppered with 
occasional strangers pass as well in the natural 
putrefaction of oxygen deprived materiality two 
birds flattened in alley a few days ago now all 
but gone save for irregular damp spots 
evaporating in the warm daylight they remain 
confident to an extent not worrying about cloth 
labels poking out from under the seams fevers 
splayed separated by fluid shadows only 
sometimes does a letter repeat conjoined rested 
from anticipated coming fresh wounds or 
perhaps in candor words form an unknown 
source as if onward into a renewed terror
Framed in Solitude -2
Digital landscape
©Michael Dickel

a pause between two stanzas a musical silence

flairs brightly back to surface ease under 
diversionary noise we roam the four small rooms 
as might be counted ignore bathing toilet room or 
you might rather enjoy the open fields of a library 
tying two into one larger room local artists walls 
doctored for pleasure they answer the call of 
anger jealousy impotence so more shot dead 
another one wears mesh mask as if thus 
illustrating their neighborly care earlier a young 
child flinches when spoken to reflects our facial 
reaction every morning when climbing out of bed 
seeing mirrored shallow tics or might it be a 
return to bearable odors of bleach disinfectant 
who can possibly imagine what lies hidden that 
compels such stubborn rampant busy dashes 
and apostrophes we just realized they'd joined in 
giving birth a name three or four years ago prior 
to the now ever present opportunity to face rarely 
unexpected death sentence you remind life has 
always been a losing hand of cards check and 
recalibrate the timing of regional locations 
somewhere as a walking pathway inarticulate 
refusal dizzy within new gnawing hunger intuition 
misguiding directionality seek dictionary advice 
their attempt at forestalling the deceit of sensual 
fantasy again improbable pause then leap into 
new noise habitation served up on plastic 
swimwear coal carrying train cars
Framed in Solitude -3
Digital landscape
©Michael Dickel

monologic pendulum within invented diversity

over compensates the small group of seven or 
fewer in the warmth of shaded looks hidden 
under ignorant familiar colors when hair sparks 
envy or our dress surprises misremember 
height as being greater now gaze down upon 
fake dreams spread lotion on over washed hands 
form as kindness lacquer speckled cracking low 
humidity and softly sore nipple from earlier 
stimulation the addendum approaches from the 
north or east building for revitalization implosion 
fold within dry lawn and wilted flowers you 
pretend to hear the footsteps of a spider only to 
look up discover it dangling webbed to ceiling the 
end grows customary losing spread over the last 
fourteen months we interrupt to wash dishes 
silverware pour hot water over floorboards one 
still wallows in defeated romance commonality 
peppers the street with skid marks tomorrow 
inoculate from present foreboding separating 
allergic figures of speech awaiting the cliché of 
some other shoe dropping watch your age when 
nearby important adults transfix upon an over 
staying for sale signage as personal loss we 
wager outweighs others
Framed in Solitude -4
Digital landscape
©Michael Dickel

to slow down when you feel already atrophied

not only by the isolation but rising rent the loss 
of unemployment checks even food stamps of 
little good turned down regularly they recover 
from heart attack have migrated from wheeled 
walker to single metal cane at that age when 
even nostalgia fails to temper despair almost 
seems the most regularly used word on this 
cloudy windy rain whispering day a love fest with 
your cat sitting sharing internet chores they take 
an extra day off for recovery from anguish 
needles and ink endorphins we remain so 
overwhelmed much yet remains to be done 
details of a poorly written description empty even 
of driving popular narratives finish coffee return 
to the slumbering apartment watch old cop show 
pretend it's a televised day off instead of the 
continued replay of bad news channel incinerate 
repetitious tattered worn out dreams our beard 
still grows whether liked or not the child wounds 
three early morning school day what to make of 
this drive to destroy maybe simple species defect 
had you more quickly read the marking slivers 
doubt might not have curled around the sound of 
pen on paper a dark sound of interrupting texts 
sent by unknown others you could care less 
about busy close contact rendering likenesses
Framed in Solitude -5
Digital landscape
©Michael Dickel

©2022 gary lundy
All rights reserved


Quote from The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot

April in The BeZine Blog


Posted in interNational Poetry Month, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

having no one to keep us | 8 poems by gary lundy

you set out
to write narratives

of your life after the fact as all 
stories are we find those 
thoughts enjambed racing 
toward intolerance pages 
unnumbered mixing tea bags 
in hot water the repeated 
inaccurate refrain they find a 
small hope suddenly crystalizing 
on artificial sweetener with snow 
forecast in inches over night our 
muscles begin to atrophy a kind 
act among hundreds of other 
assortments never worry about 
prepositions repeating even 
when swallowing hard a day 
dream awakens unexpected 
hunger you feel the press of 
their attraction weighing down 
opportunity events from a past 
muddle through too many filters 
until only pure illusion gathers 
among the quiet introverted the 
collection resonates internally 
with few avenues of escape

then they the lies
abundant built

upon those acceptable which 
means leaving more than half 
alive out our denial and refusal 
the medicinal median you gave 
in four days ago and more than 
hearts break little fuss to make 
out of no longer having to wait 
for this event while others play 
overhead on imaginary tight
ropes to choke the life out 
pretending choice personal so 
block out the porous windows 
brick closed the two doors 
escape prevented no longer an 
advocate for certainty even when 
in its midst blankets quartered 
around the filleted body last night 
a repetitious dream just before 
waking a circle of colors blended 
gray you will be missed had 
already been solvent for years

there hope is
hard to come by

so many alone in beds meant 
for brief visits we want to 
scream but instead live in our 
head accede to the believed 
in and deeply held reality not 
as imagined or experienced 
but folded under our skirts 
and dresses those boots yet 
to be waterproofed wet hands 
glove covered in snow you 
welcome the new adventure 
never subverted by their kind 
eyes and character flaws in 
another score two sing out of 
key join in uncomfortable 
liaisons bodies lined weight
less prayerful savants gleaning 
unnatural release belief held 
only in what they are told 
without question to read

the expiration date
was missing

so you licked tentative the day 
turning into evening amid the 
constant choking we carefully 
build out of their words to fortify 
the fear embraced in isolation 
refuse to answer phone voice 
mail or text block all numbers 
free ourself from pretense of 
common clear pathway your 
heart skips beat back aches the 
body always up to this moment 
our family knew nothing of our 
propensity for dresses and 
tubular vegetables pliable 
though functional made up 
swirls in their empty imagination 
the silence is never deafening 
rather an uproar of places things 
and voices their volume once 
again pliable the days resort 
shuffle into new brackets of 
darkness and light savings

yes once again
over many

nights their twenty four hour 
lip service wind awakens the 
solitary walkers who shrug 
off the litany of complaints 
sounds used to hear ourself 
at what expense those others 
whose practice learned doing 
the same while sources 
evade detection cheat in the 
rubble that remains of an 
earlier rousing party of some 
kind and the nonexistent 
masks clog the plumbing 
around town make for bad air 
quality sneezes feel good 
even when aimed at inside 
elbow at least for another few 
nights pretend you haven't 
lost us altogether make this 
look more like what it pretends 
to be wash hands again repeat 
a pleasure of those who have 
the time and where with all

endings rapid fire
up and down

the streets trees flutter their 
communal dance of sharing 
you enter into their enclosed 
safety open windows through 
out the apartment time how 
long it takes for frost to form on 
various edges those things 
once so valuable now aflame 
in frigid light we go in and out 
without effort keep forestalling 
reflection through computer 
screen name begin to vanish 
flies unseasonable dying on 
horizontal flat lines little reason 
left for italic moments of capitals 
your state of mind ground down 
only to worthless replace the c 
with an x to disappear into what 
can never be easily followed

passing by
the noon bell an

hour ahead gray birds in the 
starkly black black and white 
domain of conjoined conflict 
lies building upon lies push 
you back to bed and the wail 
of those usual broken love 
songs while lyrically diverse 
the message the same their 
bodies magical hidden as we 
will be by mirrored glass judged 
inappropriate you have never 
been prescient but understand 
the absence hours compel out 
of any context save wonder 
rereading those memories to 
ensure erasure the failure when 
using language with a known 
assumed listener reader in mind 
scrambles forms of alliterative 
translation forms of abstinence 
don't worry the operation went 
smoothly although what's 
missing remains tactile faulty

having no one
to keep us

company the days languish 
late autumn grayness around 
the base of the two new trees 
leaves burrow for warmth a 
smell of bread toasting a time 
ago shots of brandy and 
laughter talking power outages 
and strange surroundings when 
young you kept hidden beneath 
surfaces a sense of safety 
which was all along absent 
gathering groups of memorized 
thoughtless inarticulate truths 
leaving out a consonant or 
vowel feels as if we've pulled 
away from each other unnoticed 
by anyone builds to a crescendo 
where opposites join force 
restive in ourself never a melodic 
introverted caffeine synthesized 
dusk lock the off switch

©2021 gary lundy
All rights reserved


The BeZine Spring

You set out
to write narratives
Poem ©2021 gary lundy
Artwork ©2021 Michael Dickel

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Posted in April 2020 Poetry Month, interNational Poetry Month, Pandemic/ COVID-19, Poems/Poetry

in this time of community isolation by gary lundy

at least school shootings have been halted. we worry as everyone seems to. that close relationships have ended. but at least the climate grows slowly back to an earlier normal. were it not for commercial greed. and the ignorant denials banking in their bunkers of wealth. we might pull through. little hope of that happening though. to hold a young child in such light rather than comforts aggravates those consigned to terror. in such solitude language takes a back seat. even thoughts become glued onto the surfaces creating compound fractures. whether or not cleaning occurs or continues. tones familiar and left slightly ajar. at least here the water still runs. even if poorly. open the blinds and enjoy the indifferent sunlight. it’s a good thing you stocked up on brown napkins. this nearly first day of spring. one problem has to do with rereading an event until it turns rigid and fixed. they find some kind of security in lobbing accusations toward any other group. which lies outside their chosen domain. homemade soup and brief even though distant visit. keep up with the dishes. keep washing hands. maybe get around to vacuuming. anything more than an afternoon nap a change in venue. i suppose we all must act as if forever was a positive outcome.

© 2020, gary lundy

gary lundy is the author of five chapbooks, including: when voice detach themselves (is a rose press, 2013), and at | with (Locofo Chaps, 2017); and two full-length collections: heartbreak elopes into a kind of forgiving (is a rose press, 2016), and each room echoes absence (FootHills Publishing, 2018). His poems have appeared most recently in Ethel, The Collidescope, The McKinley Review, Filling Station, Shark Reef, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Fence. gary is a retired English professor and queer living in Missoula, Montana.

Posted in April 2020 Poetry Month, COVID-19/Pandemic, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry

evidently our hearts have to break every day by gary lundy

no going back. and going forward feels a wasted effort. loss with little to gain. signatures retiring mid sentence. you long for laughter yet find only decimated forests. and ground water. this day when not even private jets are safe. when the only hope is for those with power pushing limits colliding against the recently constructed wall. casualties in the tens of thousands. they refuse to count being more taken in by the direction the wind may take. it being a short runway and take off tricky. fully clothed and faces masked a dance commences outrageous. you don’t want to forget. but must to elongate the shadow of daylight. and there i go drawing unexamined conclusions. then acting upon them. naturally they carry little weight. even for us. formulaic redundancy. their course prepared. play ball. sit in the sun for a little while. an all too brief respite. and their mother dies unexpectedly overnight. younger by two decades than you. photographs of flat landscapes capture the ungoverned absence of our imagination. mistake multiplication for subtraction. escape the improbable through denial. missing the page numbers twice in recounting. is there an absence gathered in those sites of silence. or more realistically reasonable doubt and blindness.

© 2020, gary lundy

gary lundy is the author of five chapbooks, including: when voice detach themselves (is a rose press, 2013), and at | with (Locofo Chaps, 2017); and two full-length collections: heartbreak elopes into a kind of forgiving (is a rose press, 2016), and each room echoes absence (FootHills Publishing, 2018). His poems have appeared most recently in Ethel, The Collidescope, The McKinley Review, Filling Station, Shark Reef, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Fence. gary is a retired English professor and queer living in Missoula, Montana.