The Gray Lake

No Eyelids


The gray lake quivers and mirrors

appearance of a hunting vulture who glides,

and then time ceases.


Clouds fade together, forming forever

the misery ritual which hides the happiness.

A sorrowful drizzle dances on skin.


Giant sculptures of giants with weapons.

Malicious electricity startles them awake

and they become breathing barbarians.


Quickly hurry we must hide.

But nothing presents itself except a death

which soon we faithfully embrace.


Creation is a dark lake, awakened ancients,

and the trembling realization of no tomorrow,

because our world is a gaunt grave cannibal.


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Starward's picture

This is one of the best of

This is one of the best of your poems.  The startling beauty of your phrase combinations just soars off the chart:  "forming forever," "misery ritual," malicious electricity," and "gaunt grave cannibal."  These reminds me of some of the French symbolist poems I have read in translation, in which those poets combined words in unusual ways to convey their poems' points.  Although this poem is brief in the quantity of its lines, it is a huge achievement in the quality of its lines.  This poem, I believe, will be a centerpiece in your entire collection; and its style will be a benchmark of your literary accomplishment.  I will make two fervent requests of you:  be very proud of this poem . . . and please give us more like it.


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Dalton's picture

the brevity of much of my

the brevity of much of my poems is because the language is very difficult to maintain. But even so it still punches. And indeed i am very proud of this piece particularly, also considering it to be likely the best and most prodigious thing i've made. Thank you for the attention acknowledging my work. Personal masterpiece is too scarcely manifest.

Starward's picture

Brevity is, except for epic

Brevity is, except for epic poems, an advantage.  The ancient poet, Callimachus, and, in the twentieth century, the great epigrammatic poet, J. V. Cunningham, both believed that brevity was an indicator of classic talent.  And, like them and like Mallarme, you understand that brevity is powerful.  I cannot express this mathematically, but it seems to me that the distribution of poetic force over words is more efficient for fewer words, and more impotently diffuse when there are many words.


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