Sounds and Senses

Three poems
by Neil Slevin
Food for Thought
“What’s eating you?” they ask
when I push the food around my plate.
“Nothing,” I say rawly, not pausing
nor stealing a moment to hesitate.
I lie to them but not myself
(no, not to me, I see my fate),
knowing what’s eating me,
eating is, all-too-figuratively.
And so, eschewing truth,
I respond with nothing, quite literally.
I eat myself bite by bite, bone-by-bone –
body, brain and soul.
Because I can. And I can’t stop me.
And why should I want to stop
when this is a game that only I can win and lose
and see me, raise me or fold?
I will have to stop, in the end, but not for me.
I live a life divided into selves;
each and every one of us is no longer whole.
I hate my body,
know that he hates me.
Like a loveless marriage,
we are stuck together, indefinitely.
Not because we want to, need to, must,
but because we have to be.
I’ll eat away at him
while he eats away at me.
That disused section reeks
as if its books have defecated
at the thought of being left:
their spines no longer fingered,
pages no longer thumbed,
words no longer read nor imbibed
into some greater consciousness
where they can come to rest.
They squat there, passive in their dirty protest,
waiting for death’s hearty greeting
at the bottom of a pit licked by a flame
that’s gentle at first
then burns them from the outside in
until all that’s left are the charred reminders
of their hardback covers,
their scattered words falling
as ashen snowflakes
over Berlin.
In sobriety, singularity
and silence,
I search for
and solicit me.
I seek solace
in syllables,
sounds and senses
that stream
from somewhere inside,
some space
they spring from
and stretch to fill.
Neil Slevin MA, BSc is a writer from Co. Leitrim, Ireland, whose poetry has been published by various Irish publications, including The Galway Review, Skylight 47, Boyne Berries, and Into The Void, and numerous international journals, such as Scarlet Leaf Review and Artificium: The Journal. His flash fiction appeared in The IncubatorHe is a founder and editor of Dodging The Rain.

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Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and books can be found. He is a Best of the Net and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Scott's poetry books include: Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015), Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016), Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016), and Poison in Paradise (Alien Buddha Press, 2017). Scott is a member of The Southern Collective Experience; he also serves as an editor for Walking Is Still Honest Press, The Blue Mountain Review, The Peregrine Muse, and Novelmasters.

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