(the original poem published in the Summer 1990 issue of The Lithic Review)


Taken aback by the outpouncing Noir (not for the
             first time of course)
I accidentally christen the kitchen floor with a bottle
             of dime store wine
Still half full it slips from my grasp to
             smash on the linoleum
Thick green godforsaken glass with no business shattering so
             damned easily however cheap
With Noir having ambuscaded me a dozen times before
             why then this occasion—
Mincing away now from the strewn breakage and spillage
             all asniff en route
As the winespread engulfs bits of bottlesplinters and turns
             them into glassy islets

Each immuring fragmentary miniatures of myselves and cornered Noirs

             reflective in the overhead
Scintillas against the purpling floor: an overturned canopy of
             a starry night sky
Its horizons swirling outward, opening up and draining away
             at my vertiginous feet
Down with the old maelstrom I go: hanging onto
             the precarious terminal rung
Of the ladder Jacob saw and Gatsby saw but
             up which neither climbed
Clinging there encircled by a brood of tiny Bagheeras
             with eyes like crows.


   Copyright © 1990  by P. S. Ehrlich

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