Poetry from Jeff Bagato

A Bleeding Screen of Need

Where we once used words

we now send a swarm of electrons

buzzing across hyperreality, wood bees

aerial dogfighting in futile clumps

to simply say me me me

and mark an ever widening aura

of territory in the saturated

air; static grows thick

locked in mortal combat

for the numbers, the handshakes,

the fleeting flow of friends

across a bleeding screen of need,

careful not to fall off the flat edge

into the pit of the unknown—

a nobody who cannot conjure electrons

to save their life—a life is not a life

unless digitized and tossed upon

the flipping tides of lore

The Pieces Fail to Fit

Waiting for the kitchen to clean itself,

I pick up my old rubber band ball

and stretch a loop or two, massing

it into the bowling ball size range—

it takes a lot of loops to grow an inch,

but it’s just a matter of adding it all up;

another dozen bands makes another layer,

but the clock won’t stop,

and the kitchen won’t clean,

and this life won’t live itself,

or perhaps it will, but one day at a time

won’t satisfy a man who needs to shore up

some vague shelter against his end time,

pieces fallen outside the box and fit together

balanced by no real logic,

and the monument I make thus

is all the monument I’ve got

Salamander Tides

Leaky boats bob

with every tide;

any wave that rises

fills the shell.

Bailing, whether you

like it or not,

becomes the only

way to float

Logs pull together

as a raft, so dead trees

rise again, this time

to move free of land,

roots abandoned,

cast off like a rind,

like leaves,

like memories

of a time before

these floods

A salamander sheds his tail

to escape the dog,

slapping its muzzle

like a lick of shameful fire

smoking to conceal its flight

A multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, Jeff Bagato produces poetry and prose as well as electronic music and glitch video. He has published nineteen books, all available through the usual online markets, including And the Trillions (poetry) and The Toothpick Fairy (fiction). A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at http://jeffbagato.com.