2 Poems by Jeffrey Zable [Poetry]


I’m on a collision course in a dark room
and as the chairs rise to the ceiling
I’m reminded of the wreckage of memories.

If I could go backwards into a womb
in which the temperature always stays at 72 degrees,
I surely would.

I’d focus my eyes on the fountain
in which the birds are dancing a waltz,
oblivious of time and space.

Then when it was over and the imaginary train
tooted its horn for the final boarding,
those who were left behind would surely ask me
how to get to the mouth of the river.

And I would calmly point in the direction
from which I was born, assuring them
that the mountain is not nearly as high as it looks,
that each of us must cross into the shadow
of the trembling wind. . .



The empty place at the dinner table is for the one
who left a long time ago, but has kept in touch
through telepathy and cryptic phone calls from the grave.
Mother says he’ll return some day with a pumpkin pie,
or maybe a few shrunken heads that he won in battle
with other savages who wanted to make names for themselves.
And when I asked if I may eat his portion until he returns,
I almost got the back of her hand, for how dare I ask for special favor
when I’ve hardly proven myself, except for that time I farted over and over
until everyone ran from the house into the rain.
From there everyone did a dance until the sun appeared
over the field of dead leaves,
in which everyone lay down to sleep
for the next hundred years.


By Jeffrey Zable


  • Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro Cuban Folkloric music for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. Recent writing in Red Eft, Awkward Mermaid, Ink In Thirds, Alba, Corvus, Tower Journal, Uppagus, After the Pause, Spelk, Chrome Baby, Former Cactus and many others. In 2017 he was nominated for both The Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.

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