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Wednesday, October 11, 2006


by David Chorlton

You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.
--Franz Kafka

Turning away, from the face on the street
burning to a crisp after years in the sun,
from the bird unable to fly, from the lie
that launched a thousand warships,
is always the option

that allows us to go about our business
but the eyes have a way
of following, and the lie rests
like an undigested meal
that leaves us feeling heavy. The dollar bill
we might have given

is folded in a wallet fat with credit cards
like a broken wing.

David Chorlton has spent the last twenty-eight years in Phoenix, trailing English and Austrian roots. His poems have appeared widely in the small presses and he currently anticipates a new book, Waiting for the Quetzal, from March Street Press. It reflects his increasing preoccupation with the natural world.