Monday, March 3, 2014

The Eve of War

Not an early bird.
10 a.m. Sunday
I skipped church
for extra hours
in a soothing dream.

Up in five minutes -
brush my teeth,
repeat after me:

I am not
the man in the mirror.
English breakfast.
Call Dad.
Fresh tulips.

The ground under my feet
has already been painted red.
Buy milk and bandage.
Work the night shift.
Watch Ms. Revolution's sleep.


  1. How well you set the stage in this poem - how we prepare ourselves as if for war every Sunday for the week to come.

  2. In a few minimal strokes, you very effectively paint the ordinariness of life as it continues --- necessarily so, what else would it do? --- in the shadow of approaching violence. I love the transition from "Call Dad. / Fresh tulips." to "The ground under my feet / has already been painted red." and "Watch Ms. Revolution's sleep" (I would end on this line, btw:-). But I like everything else, too, the personal note in speaking to the mirror, the small concerns of personality with which one must confront the war. This has a very Eastern European flavor, like something from Holub or Herbert. For me, this is one of your best poems.


    1. Thanks, I'm honored. <3

      I'm also always losing my last lines for you. Thanks for such an insightful comment.

  3. Anonymous3/17/2014

    The eve of war is an odd time, heavy with a future that promises to destroy so much of the past. The touch here is delicate, as it should be, stepping lightly over savage implications that cannot be avoided. I found the touch in need of a note or two more of savage consequence. Nice job.

  4. This is of those I wish I had written.

  5. You put is squarely in the middle of things here...a very vivid picture of your chosen moments. There's a tangible sense of suspense at the end, leaving us to imagine outcomes. Fine job.
    Steve K.

  6. Anonymous3/17/2014

    Love it

  7. There's a chilling, surreal aspect to this- the ordinary things you do but on the eve of war with the ground under you feet already red. So many people are in this conundrum right now.

  8. I agree that there is a chilling effect...the everyday goes on even as war many questions hang in the air

  9. you took evryday mundane things and projected them into a vivid scene.... well done

  10. My first time here, thanks to Toads. Yes, it is a war, that work week... Your depiction of "Ms. Revolution," seeing time as female, is intriguing. The blood, the bandages added offhandedly to your shopping list, all is chilling. The only thing worse, I guess, would be to be jobless and still going through the same thing... Brill write! Amy Barlow Liberatore, Madison, WI

  11. Love! The weaving together as if it were all so ordinary!

  12. Very interesting, and I adore the lead in line (it even makes me feel a bit guilty!)