Jul/Aug 2018 Poetry Special Feature


by Raymond Byrnes



Image courtesy of British Library Photostream



Image courtesy of British Library Photostream


Pulled up a New Blank Document today.
Still lost, not even pencil marks on canvas.

Staring at a whiteboard, trackless
frozen tundra, the inside of an avalanche.

Face full of whipping cream, not ready
to borrow a cigarette just yet.

Asked the paint-store guy on the phone
what colors come in white. He said there's

your standard ceiling white, but you
might have something else, like

alabaster, dover, eider, ibis, ultra,
snowbound, creamy, or pure white.

Still nothing as the tires spin, high-
beam headlights bouncing off a drift.

Lungs burning near bottom, scanning
glazed white tiles for a wedding band.

Mustard gas. Never fired a shot. Shipped
stateside early, eyes blind as gauze.

Still waiting to initiate the keyboard
rattle of text peppering a page.

Thoughts spread dry as spackle,
a lidless stare coats the screen again.

Inspiration half a cup of stone-ground
pastry flour, finely milled and bleached.

Time to do some laundry. Make the bed.
Get some rest on clean white sheets.


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