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spacer.gif   American Open Mike: Zach Kluckman
Posted by : cj on Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 11:27 AM
American Open Mike:  New American Voices .

** Zach Kluckman **

Time’s Cool Shadow

Slow in curmudgeonly stalk
Once stolid redwood whose roots now
sing cool amber resonance, though
days, like sundial shadow, fade.
Steady on taciturn ancient,
the niacin burn of your platelets
through hematite veins, thirsting
draw closer the earth.
Onward old man, your time
allows you another stance, another
breath still to whistle.
For you, like that proud giant
unbroken, though bowed on
the arthritic, wooden stairs that,
still, lead where you walk, still
take you to her
pale, in her thick terry robe.
The thin years of her hand,
Pledge strength, holding yours
And she smiles at the soup that you bring


Don’t wanna be a shadow
Dance in darkness
Like Topaz spires
Cling to life through others
Ride on burden shoulders
Underfoot to tread upon
Or creep away from dawn

No hidden pulse
Silent, bitter waltz
No backless face
With smile false
No empty eyed shadow pools
No bravery of hollow fools

Walk, turn, run away
Cannot bear the weight of day
Fallen flat
Through sidewalk cracks
No more crawl in shadow form
Walk, turn, stand and scream
I am not someone else’s dream
Fists clenched
Thrown up high
Burn now darkness. I defy
From shadow’s ruin spring’s new light
Explode, the day ignites

Chase the shadows back
Cleansing wounds, to cauterize
Consume the veil of tears
Burning wood from blinded eyes
Dancing on the back of darkness
Casting topaz spires
Like embers in the fire

No selfish flesh
Burn the straps off of the masks
No hollow eyed shallow fool
Only a vessel full of fuel

A phoenix risen from the flame
Once dead, now alight again
A mirror image to reflect the sun
My shadow form cannot exist
Where the fire warms

A Fight in the Dark

Still, lie still
The thought whispers, your struggle is ended
beneath the cold, fluorescent stare of
stuttering, clinical lights.
Tight woven of cotton, my shard of chrysalis
steadily stains in the saltwater rain, bleeding from my eyes
in the loss of the moment.
Quietly drained,
like self-portrait memories spilling through my eyes,
the last minute slideshow in the quiet, fly spawning hum
of sterile steel and time polished tables

Thrashing faces flash
Images of time come undone
Those that I’ve loved, who had not the ears to hear
my whispered confessions of times when I DID need someone

The shocked faces and dark outlines of trees
who witnessed my most primal screams, shrieking
for the inability to speak when need spoke

Time, like a bandit,
rocking his chair with a smile

And love, always growing, always too much
to ever give away, so what I gave was never enough
to repay the smiles of children,
or the blue-eyed warm handed woman

Memories come undone
Atop the unstable steel shining, soon to roll away
with the pieces organic.
Uneasily I see a Mason jar of easy murmurs
Holding the quick center of me,
and I must, I must what? No, I must not
Forget. So I try. I stretch phantom hands to memories
and photographs that lie like last light
held fluid in the heart, echoes of life

And though my chrysalis does not shatter
It is torn in the strife, but after all
What creature does not
Fight for its life

Zach Kluckman lives in Tijeras, NM. He has been writing poetry for 16 years. "I started writing way back in High School," Kluckman says, "and initially the only words that poured onto the page were emotional statements and questions that probably every high school student asks. 'Why me', 'Why doesn’t anyone understand me', etc. But soon after, my mother introduced me to free-verse poetry, which proved to be a vital moment for me. For some, free verse represents an 'easy' way to write. However, from the beginning, I loved the challenges of creating meter and rhythm without the musical device of rhyme, and I was enthralled by skirting the edge, attempting to find that border between prose and poetry."

Copyright 2005, all rights reserved.

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