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Dead Poets

Author Biography
Poetry By
  Christopher Way

Published on: 9/22/2005
Fort Myers, Florida

The downtown cafe is full by midnight.

We have grown a grim love
for outpost towns,
& outpost-hunger for leaving.

We are sentries
for the seasonal horde,
muttering at tourist-traffic,
but starved for transfusion.

We walk,
to the coast's cold mist
and all its breath of leaving.

Those who rail against it most
want least to leave.
They nestle up to steep banks of desperation.

At three in the morning we scatter,
drive off,
down the highways,
down the sprawl of avenue and overpass,

the city, so farflung and space-gorging
and in that stretch reflecting, mocking
our murmured, slurred desires;

all of Fort Myers
spilling, spinning
from her original downtown coast-hub
like some meager melody
launching echoes from a valley;

like the comet
of a fly burst against a windshield

Published on: 10/5/2004
Spring Nerve Sheath

Spring's here and the trees are budding.
All winter the skinny branches, dendrite-dense,
scratched the dry air.

All winter the trees were naked neurons,
buzzing softly,
just shy of hearing,
popping and crackling,
lifting the hair on my arms.

All these synapses firing,
from tree to tree to tree,
but no reflex movement,
no flexed muscle,
no spasming limb.

All that electric sensitivity
and no ability to express.

Or is that wrong?
Is it that on some plane beyond sense
these trees,
analogues to the axons
inside us,
most sensitive when winter-dead,
their nerves bare to the air --
on some plane do they twitch
and seize and flex and jump?

We don't intersect with this plane.

If we did,
the part of our minds
which extended just enough into it
to witness this private act
would be branch-lashed
to bloody blindness.

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