I need the brevity of a short, fresh poem right now
(lifespan-short) that I can shoe-horn between instants
but yet, in this pinch, says so much I’ll understand brevity
and duration by the depth of the calluses they leave on my brain

But it’s not happening, is it?
Already I’m up to six lines,
it’s too late for abbreviation

so what I need  now is one a little longer
whose elaboration is pithy, without rolling on
deep and forever, Amazon-like

a poem without the topographical detours
of rivers and streams, or the cul de sacs
of raw mistakes

but I can see now this won’t end here
in brute summation like a dead fish
wrapped in newsprint warning of impending
but once-avoidable consequence

no, this poem goes on who knows why or when
until every noun, verb, conjugation
and absolute phrase has been spent

until this mine of memory and metaphors
is no more complete than the store
of meanings dragged inside-out
by the push of pregnant clauses in blood
that lead to others and others and others
like cups spilled into this sea-bound flow
and flood of sisters and brothers
from the peak and precipice of

by Jim Culleny

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