Her Savage Orange Shape

It isn’t your face that always inspires me;
it’s the oceans I imagine your soul sailing
when your heart storms in passion.

It isn’t your shape
walking in a short skirt;
it’s your back
fitting with my front.
I wake up unrested
yet happy next to you.

You’re more than a muse
that makes me scratch the itch
a poet gets when I bubble think love.

Your blue eyes open
the nimbus canopy
in the imagined love land.
Bird songs and jazz guitar chords
pulse the wind
and trees play their brush tops
and snare the autumn gusts.

I curl my pen to carve out
our home in that land.
Strong shouldered walls
standing firm in the jazz wind.
Our night sky runs
savage orange
before the close of day.

You turned into fire when I kissed you.
My denial kisses me back now,
puckers its lips,
and blows on the candle
I write this poem by.
The flames still consume me
when I open my mouth
with your name.


Copyright 2010

Year End Thanks 2009

When he writes, he feels quite a bit better about the whole thing.

About 30 seconds before “Auld Ang Syne” played, I exited the church where the dance was. I didn’t want the reminder that, again for the 3rd year in row, I was not going to kiss some beautiful woman who I loved. Truth is, it’s one of the few traditions I abide with.

Not having someone to kiss at that moment, when it’s expected, reminds me of something. It reminds me that I can expect to NOT kiss some beautiful woman in the near future. This fact does not transmit happiness to my heart. So, I leave the building. Fortunately, 2009, with or without a woman by my side, was amazing–particularly Thanksgiving in Chicago.

My middle brother, Josh Selsby and his beautiful wife, Erin Selsby, had a sweet but active baby girl, Carley Taylor, on July 7th, 2009. The summer was even brighter for that news. My step dad, Errol, was beaming for at least 3 months after her birth. Every time I talked to him, he would bring that beautiful little girl up. I finally got to meet Josh and Erin’s daughter at Thanksgiving in Chicago. She was very well-behaved at our public dinners. According to my brother and sister-in-law, she DID NOT act to that accord in the hotel room at nap and bed time. All the same, they kept a cheerful countenance and presence. I don’t know if I could ever capture, with words or pictures, the kind and amount of love I saw in their eyes for that child; it is a marvel that better understood when personally beheld.

Of course, Molly Selsby, baby brother Adam’s wife, made a meal that further lined Thanksgiving with the silver of culinary mastery and artistry. I have never eaten Thanksgiving food that tasted like the gourmet food pictures look in magazines. My assessment: Molly’s genius made rutabagas and parsnips delicious. Additionally, I think there was about 3 desserts after the 110 course-a-copia she put on. Her father, Bill Pomietlasz, helped out quite a bit: running and being the second pair of nostrils and eyes to assist her.

Her little brother, John Pomietlasz, wrote more extensively about her food and the other delicacies he consumed at saintcleveland.com. Conversing with him and reading his reading was both stimulating and humbling. His verbal voice demonstrates eloquence, simplicity, and calm readability. The rest of the family’s company, conversation and general friendliness was a well-needed bring from my usual life of academic rigors.

Considering my academic life, I did incredibly well in school in 2009. I could go on to describe all the different accomplishments my efforts, work and achievements afforded me. Instead I will thank a few people for being there along way to encourage and support me at regular intervals. Thanks to: Randy, Hunter, and Elsie Miyan, Errol and Linda Selsby, Joshua and Adam Selsby, David Selsby, Lee Williams, Anne Tull, Kari Solomon, Chad Lapp, James Van Mil, Jeff Crawford, William Lindesmith, Robin Goad, Tyler Games, Tate Seimer, Rob Horton, Randolf Lewis, Gary and Barbara Cummins, Kristin Johnson; Professors Stanley Corkin, William Godshalk, Jennifer Glaser, Russel Durst, Evan Griffin, Jonathan Kamholtz, Sheri Allen, and Tamar Heller; and Jaye (Jessica) Kosman. Without these people being there to share in the joys and travails that academic writing has brought me; it would have been meaningless.

When I started out this entry, I had no one to kiss at midnight; January 1st, 2010. Instead, I have many people in my life who impact me daily by their presence or what they do for others. I wonder if the guy or girl who had lips to meet at midnight can say the same?


The sky spreads warm marmalade
and fractures red.
We scoop the orange with glow-wood
while we watch you lift from the dark pond.

Maybe Pop and I could throw
our fragile boxes,
packed with old daggers,
in the water this time.

Your wings slap the sky too soon.
We sit fading by the embers,
and can’t thaw the frost
biting between us.

Copyright 2009


Heaven dreams with gold-brick roads,
chill will not grip our feet.
The auger light shines on
in beauty; without greed’s reach.

Heaven bends the mystics backs;
the panting footsteps;
The hungry ghosts grab
the breaths.
They cover the storm warnings
with lies about lyres and clouds.

Heaven weeps honey
through the knot holes of trees;
My feet are welded as I climb.
Every building crumbles without
their shoulders.

*Inspired by Yeats’ “Second Coming”.
Copyright 2009


The leaves seethe amber:

dripping crimson,

flaming orange,

and rusting golds.

The evening flushes green;

its third-eye brushes–

hushing umber twilight.

The color dries;

the sapphire sheens

expanding purple

into a violet wire-sky.

A Pawn

Dead at 33

deep dreams hidden:

books of pressed leaves–

what a night to cut the wire

and break the ring.

hot motor brain

thoughts burn away

writhing in demon urine:

“Help me/Kill me”.

He swallowed the white bullets;

wrapped in cream-green wombs.

the yellow tabs where he signed: toe tags.

Copyright 2009

Village Life (part 2)

The deep woods fold
in our crease of sleep.
we relax the arms
that hold up the world.

Her muted trumpets
blow fire-notes.
The sun is left
to walk alone
before we wake.

Copyright 2009 Garrett J. Cummins


The rain reminds me:
“You cupped fireflies

The drops use dimes,
to edge the lamp-light:
reflecting echoes.

She shines at me–
blink blink blink
her soul walks
in a old pair of jeans.
I picked her a poem
of blooming, white fire.

I am raised
on the flames.

Copyright 2009

Science and Music

I heard the bubbles crackle
when I put my head under.
I relaxed my lids shut
and watched supernovas
burst the first fire.

It takes two scientists to study
each one.  Two separate things.

They are.  One is the melody
and the other–harmonic creation.

Someday, they will hear
which is which,
when fire ends.

Copyright 2009