Sam Rasnake

Trauma 2

I’m a book with no pages for telling,
no threads of plot for acting, no
stanzas for music or form – There
are no characters searching the stage
for the way out, no lines, no voices.
I’m a book with no pages for reading.

A sea with no boat for sailing,
no wind for speaking, no kelp
for hiding – There are no more
unfolded maps to follow, no birds
for waves to ride, no coral for treasure.
I’m a sea with no island for living.

A forest with no path for walking,
no way of finding, no empty branch
for resting – There are no more
dreams for holding, no leaves for
falling to the cold ground, no roots.
I’m a forest with no sky for reaching.

I’m a monster with no cave for sleeping,
no village for plundering, no dim-lit
windows for watching – There are
no more nightmares, no wood floors
for creaking, no stoves for winter.
A monster with no mirrors for seeing.




– NYC, 1962

Penelope Tree in her living room looks more “whiter shade of pale” than “love me do,” more question than answer. Her arms crossed with an edge of anger, feet planted against the hard truth of happy, an absolute resolve creased between her eyes. Her life is not her own is the best way to tell it – the daily rituals of the flowered vase, plush rugs for looks only, embroidered pillows, thick curtains for secrets. But she will find it. Everything gives way in time to tremors of youth in her body – a body so sure of itself uncertainty is the only possible end which is beauty’s point in the first place.

Sam Rasnake’s works have appeared in OCHO, Big Muddy, Wigleaf, Spillway, Santa Fe Literary Review, Poets / Artists, as well as The Southern Poetry Anthology, MiPOesias Companion 2012, Best of the Web 2009, LUMMOX 2012, and BOXCAR Poetry Review Anthology 2, His most recent collection is Cinéma Vérité (A-Minor Press).

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