J.M. FitzGerald, is a writer/attorney in Los Angeles. He attended UCLA and the University of West Los Angeles School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review. His first book, Spring Water, the fictional story of the mental life of a psycho bottling plant shipping clerk who poisons bottles of water and ships them to Los Angeles stores, was a Turning Point Books prize selection in 2005.
 
Telling Time by the Shadows, a book of poems of love and longing, was released in April, 2008.
 
As yet unpublished works include Primate, the fictional tale of a sign-language speaking chimp allowed to testify in court, The Zeroth Law, a work of creative literary non-fiction comparing the beliefs of the world's major religions to history, myth and science, and The Mind, a series of poems about consciousness and thought.


Aphrodite
 
For a good group of words, take the night,
and let it unfold into such a very simple thing
as is impossible to hear,
like rain at a distance, or shore from a cliff.
Iíve forgotten how I feel,
as if run through by light,
I find no further truths.

Attune to air, where sound dwells a moment,
its waves boiled down to an instant, anointed in me.
For days now I have pictured silence
as something meaningful, a story in and of itself.

There, in the loneliness, should be a song,
and here, right here, could go murmurs
or whispers of footsteps forever.

I walk by the ocean where no flowers grow,
because they couldnít bear the beauty.
I find a white stone that was a mountain when I was a star.
It reminds me weíll all be sand one day, so I let go,
but we are moved.

Then this woman wades in the tide.
She is part of the sunset, the clouds, the ocean.
The whole horizon wraps around her,
sending me telepathic thoughts of wonder and hope,
till I canít help but listen for God.   
                                                

What God Says
 
I.

Now, when itís late, you begin to see through me.
Iím not sure when the first time was, you fell
from my tongue-crafted heights back to earth.

You have touched the depths of yourself without me.
When the muse becomes poet, where do I turn?
Gone off, as usual, in search of the spiral,

Met with no imagination,
Torn like Cinna for his verses,
grief defeats euphoria too, when you tell me goodbye.

I have waned with the moon,
hung over into a workday,
where is the blessing in that?

I feel dreamt away, dissolute,
why do you mourn me?
Iíd sooner remain an island than have you ever cry for my sake,

to be touched in mind only, from afar,
in a fitful impasse, diminishing.
Iíll still desire you for this.

How I have ridden the vortex and spun
in spite of gravity over the drain,
just to pull you down with me into reality.

For I cannot really fly, and hot blood flows through me.
I am a name to be uttered in a distant language.
How many times must I resurrect myself, how many can I?

Thereís nothing else but to lay in the dust or get up.
We entered the night in need of a song.
For your whisper, Iíll dance with you forever.


The Misunderstood
 

As for the talking,
if I wanted something said,
it would be here.

These lines exist as they do for the falling,
for the unrevealed hurt,
for God to cry and angels fear

at my corruption,
at my shaking,
at my curse.

I need time to get away,
but present demons love me worse,
and figure ways to pose as muses.

They point to where my secrets wither.
Bruise the heights and stir the lows
with longing songs that ever scream:

Let me come back!
No voice is greater than this.
What happened to the blasted silence?

No one should believe Iím real.
I disclaim myself for persona,
or Iíd be bawling.

The poem is over,
I used to feel.
But now who knows?


from Telling Time by the Shadows (2008)


J.M. Fitzgerald

© 2008 J.M. FitzGerald


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