Monday 13 March 2023

Five Poems by John Zedolik


Agreeable Empyrean                                                                   


Spittle has constellated the sky

of my deep blue pillow case over the course


of my proprietary night though I

will not name these formations


whose permanence is only until

the next wash when my celestial


canvas will be clean until the next

night when seven hours will heat up


my private suns so spangle the surface

in the quiet process, a Little Un-Bang,


of building my Milky Way upon warmed

fabric so agreeable to fragile, finicky cheek


a kind universe into which I may fall unawares

into no vacuum, zero pressure, and absolute freeze.



Exceptional Moment                                           


The heat’s lash has curled

the phone line atop the obsidian

curve of the car that idles in front

of mine. So directing the suddenly


black licorice strand back into

the shimmering blue air and some

destination of the eyes that are prey

to the illusion of the earth’s fervor


under the sun, which often blinds

us to the truth and its authority

of the straight line leading to a

practical place we must follow


if taken to task—which, at times—

we may avoid if only still

and dreaming, forced by route

and circumstance to look—only—


so free to see in curves

that refuse the rein of cold right. 



Already Worked Out                                                       


Dreaming has exhausted me,

and I arise, cramped, with underlids

puffed as with the sand of night still


weighing the folds, full scales

with the heft of blind coin

pressed upon the lashes


that keep the sleeper closed

and dead to the world while the mind

exerts its muscle, curling my spine


to infant posture, a crustacean,

a crescent only ready to shrink

and wane while the young day waxes


to clarion calls of upright activity

and crisp locomotion, coordination,

which my tendons, ligaments, repel,


cranky rebels against the cause

that will in minutes, hours unfurl

me, whose head must clear


of oneiric mist to make a go

of these sixteen hours where

phantasms ever fear to tread.



Fugitive Relief                                               


I claim sanctuary in the sacred

precinct of Friday night—


free from the coarse throats

that will clamour soon enough


the other side of the night’s holy wall.



Such a small shrine is this, a width

of only several hours in which I many


find the glow of solace and a span safe

from the rabble and its accusing maw


out there in Saturday’s square where

echo even upon those free flagstones


the hoarse voices from the five-days

that tug and test the faith of those


pressed in working shifts to operate

far from the relics of the leisurely


saint that offer respite on that Eve,

whose expanse is a hymn to the turned


within and the sanct stillness of the lying-down.





Driven to drive-in movies as children, clad

in our pajamas, so sensed by parents

the transition from waking

to not, the ninety minutes


upon the screen whose size obscured

the evening and night so ushered

in the descent while still in the backseat,

unbelted, into deep dream for one tot


or more who had had enough of the day

long since dark, and now lay, limp,

upon home-return, within the care-folds

of adult arms against the heavy drop


to the earth of that day given farewell

by the G-rated film, second feature

on the double-bill unnecessary

to shuffle the seven-year-old


and siblings less off to eyes

opening no earlier than the next

morning whose face would rise

without interruption and star only the sun

John Zedolik - Is a adjunct English professor at Chatham University and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He has published poems in such journals as Abbey, The Bangalore Review (IND), Commonweal, FreeXpresSion (AUS), Orbis (UK), Paperplates (CAN), Poem, Poetry Salzburg Review (AUT), Third Wednesday, Transom, and in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In 2019, he published a full-length collection, entitled Salient Points and Sharp Angles (CW Books), which is available through Amazon. In 2021, he published another collection, When the Spirit Moves Me (Wipf & Stock), which consists of spiritually-themed poems and is also available through Amazon. John recently published his third collection, Mother Mourning (Wipf & Stock), again, available on Amazon. John's iPhone is his primary poetry notebook, and he hopes his use of technology to craft this ancient art remains fruitful.

















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