This is a composite or combination of reject poems from 2019 from various alter-egos. I think it has good enough transitions to work. Maybe? I don’t know. I’ve been talking to myself and for now we think so. One of the many was called “Counter” I think, but it’s interesting that there are many “counters”: one who counts, encounter, counter-intuitive, countertop etc. Hmm, encounter from Latin roots of “in front of” sort of hides where the idea of calculating or counting comes from. Where you can see something, you can count it, or meeting it can lead to a confrontation or fight.


Counter-intuitive that
I would search for souls

if I am alive to
be the mockingbird, he

who counts the day as nightmare
to search for souls to count
to search for songs to sing

Am I one or none
the counter

or do I have a chance
to learn my own song to

make it possible that
you will see me fly to
see how my eyes shine
when your love is staring
when your look changes

but it is needed that
we need a lot of things to eat
like the food of love and

I’m hungry for you:
I want a chance
to respond with
more than a
comfortable touch, and
let us soak up more because

you are invited to attend a formal dinner so
wear your public face but
come naked

2 thoughts on “Counter

  1. I like the fluency of this and the transition from one old poem to another is seamless. So success for the combination. I see one possible problem: given readers proclivity to pause too much or too little at the end of a line, I’d suggest adding one strategic comma in the 3rd stanza. An overlap could change the meaning if the reader has become used to the fluency and overrides a pause resulting in “to count to search” which would mean counting for the purpose of searching. With the line break stop, it’s actually “to search for souls to count” which is searching for souls for the purpose of accounting for them and looking for the right one in the future or noting each one’s value to be added to a list, or “count” in the sense of something that matters. The infinitive form “to count” grabs the closest next infinitive “to search,” but the theme or referent for the parallel “for” prepositional phrases is the concept of “searching.” That is to say, searching for this, that, and something else — everything refers to the search. Therefore this suggestion:

    who counts the day as nightmare
    to search for souls to count , [comma]
    to search for songs to sing

    So except for that one spot, I enjoyed running through this poem rapidly without pause, with joy.


    1. Thanks for that thoughtful comment. I appreciate it. I can see that. Line breaks are a tricky business, and enjambment(though at the last minute I didn’t use) is an interesting tool to force the reader to keep going without pausing too much. Sometimes I can work that out. It’s unfortunate that an overabundance of end rhymes has inadvertently trained people to take very extravagant pauses. It’s all a dilemma and I don’t think that academics screaming “slight pause, slight pause” helps much because too much scolding spoils the pudding.

      Liked by 1 person

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