Let the wolf metaphor stand. Must I heed what some editor says about cliché. They see them everywhere: tone deaf to the sounds of poems: their boxcar rhythm. Occasionally, they astound with a miraculously astute observation. For decades, I let them throw me into bouts of depression, for they were the only route. Was I cursed to be able to hear the world? Once for a week I was obsessed with the words of osteology: epiphysis, apophysis. I take words upstairs to empty halls where I let them echo. When Michael took sick, there was a polite buffer of silence between the world and me. I cared for him and felt guilty pursuing my passion for language play. When the morphine did little I knew what was coming. Each night I whispered to myself, God don’t let that happen tonight. I would read aloud to him at all hours of the night. Sometimes I would put my face up close to him and think, it’s still him. I couldn’t help but reminisce to myself about the stories he told of growing up, of his family living in an unfinished basement. My mind wandered madly. I doodled on my unlined journal’s pages: a cross within a circle with distinct dots around the circumference. It reminded me of Southwest petrographs, of our time exploring the spiritual sites of northern New Mexico. After he passed, I convinced myself there was nothing in creation that is a home. I took up sadness. It took a couple of years for language to speak to me again. One day huddled in a winter coat and scarf jotting down thoughts on a park bench I thought: at one time in this world it was alright to throw a kiss to a pretty stranger. This world speaks more than ever, and there has never been a time when there is so little rich language to hear.


—written from phrases and lines from the same page number of fourteen different books


by Marc Frazier

Marc Frazier has widely published poetry in journals including The Spoon River Poetry Review, ACM, Good Men Project, f(r)iction, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Slant, Permafrost, Plainsongs, and Poet Lore. He has had memoir from his book WITHOUT published in Gravel, The Good Men Project, decomP, Autre, Cobalt Magazine, Evening Street Review, and Punctuate. Marc, an LGBTQ+ writer, is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for poetry, has been featured on Verse Daily, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a “best of the net.” His book The Way Here and his two chapbooks are available on Amazon as well as his second full-length collection titled Each Thing Touches (Glass Lyre Press). Willingly, his third poetry book, will be published by Adelaide Books in 2019. His website is www.marcfrazier.org

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