not there, are you
I don’t know
many things surprise me
you not being there
less of a surprise
more of an assumption
I don’t know
all this contemplating
gets me nothing
but sweaty nights
we could have been something
two insecure beings
shoring up each others dreams
could have been something
you and I
me and you
whatever it might have been
compost now
maybe some other time
another steaming night

a chance to break through the earth
whatever it could have been
the bed is barren now
as is my heart




13 thoughts on “barren

  1. You know, reading this made my glasses steam up! 🙂
    Seriously though, AM, this is quite sensual without reliance on sex or body parts. Rather it’s sexy because of the movement of the mind — how it stutters off, how it reconsiders, how it tries to rationalize the “could have/should have” dichotomy we all at one time or another experience. Beginning with that inverted first line: “not there, are you” instead of the assumed, more common “you are not there” — it’s as if the speaker is attempting to come to terms with the past, and the emphasis is on the object of desire’s “not there”ness. I have to say that when I read through this (several times) I kept hearing it as though it were translated from the German, so I ran it through the translator (’cause I’m too lazy to do it myself, although I had to tinker with a few things, and my translation probably isn’t perfect); here’s the first couple of lines:

    Nicht dort, sind Sie
    Ich weiß es nicht
    viele Dinge, die mich überraschen
    Sie nicht dort zu sein
    weniger überraschend
    mehr von einer Annahme …

    Quite beautiful.
    And I have to say, that painting … It’s amazing, gorgeous. Some time I’d like for you to tell me how you painted it; I mean, how you captured the frenetic quality, the movement. It’s as though the woman is shimmering. It’s quite sensual in a refined, “genteel” (your word from the other day) manner. You must paint like this again.

    Sorry this is long. But I had to comment “longly.” 😉 Wunderbar.


    • You know I had to go back and look at what art I used – I couldn’t remember from last night and no wine was involved – now that’s frightening:)
      The art is a – long ago pastel – done during a college life drawing class – I’m pretty sure – it may have been high school – but I’m pretty certain it was college – those years blur more and more…
      DS, your comments always make me think about how I write – which to me is fascinating – most times I’m never sure why, you know that favorite response of mine by now – all too well 🙂 – but that can’t really be can it? – there are reasons I guess I often just scratch surfaces without unearthing much maybe I don’t want to see what’s under there;)
      and this translation is beyond interesting – other languages – how words mutate into other fantastical beasts…thank you for sharing –
      and let me close by saying – I love that you noticed the opening – phrased it that way for the very reason you so perfectly present here –
      I thank you, friend of mine
      I have to catch up on posts this weekend – max has the sections today and tomorrow – all day affairs…


      • No, it can’t really be that most times you’re “never sure why.” 🙂 That answer does not compute. Actually, dammit, I forgot to mention that one of my favorite lines, the line propping up the whole piece as far as I’m concerned, is this one: “a chance to break through the earth.” That’s a beautiful, poetic way of saying something profound, something abundant with meaning/intention. I know what you’re saying about not intentionally knowing, but I do think most artists/writers do know, at least subconsciously, the surfaces they scratch. I think you’re absolutely correct that maybe you “don’t want to see what’s under there,” and in fact I might argue (pleasantly, of course) that that’s what the whole poem is about. The speaker is contemplating. Since the heart (emotion) is barren, the head (intellect) now has to “compute” the residual effects of her “barrenness.” How’s that for an English major’s bullshit? LOL And you just thought it was all words, baahaa! That’ll cost ya $25 for that there answer, Miss. 🙂
        P.S.: You call it “sections”? For a minute I thought poor Max somehow got segmented. 🙂 Here in the I-state it’s called “sectionals.” 😉 I’m teasing you, AM. Believe me, you’re writing great stuff to ponder here (hence my verbose/lengthy comments).


      • You know you nailed it right there – subconscious or self conscious – it’s definitely one of those, ’cause it sure ain’t conscious:) You sometimes say you read my verse several times, I read your comments several times – especially these loaded ones and I appreciate every thought. Thank you, DS

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Not there, are you……reverse those last two words and they are the antithetical….you are there, but not there. Wonderful writing here and wonderful pastel. The pastel is almost dreamlike….My eyes traveled to the breasts first, but then see the face, her hair, the taut belly below the breasts…absolutely beautiful.


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