Poems By Jeff Stephen Schectman Blake


My Lai (1968)

The moon sat on the edge of a funnel
and waited

the dog ran in the intestines of hills
then waited
the trees whispered and waited

I was not there so I waited
on the porch of my solitude

while the gravity pulsed in the
core of the astral upheavings.

the infant whimpering waited
and the muck of the pigs disengaged
from the slithering ankles of slime
settled down to the quiet of morning

the duck squatted on dust
upheaved a sigh and waited

and the mother drowning the rice
in the froth of the tongue
of her offspring waited

while the man with the aged white beard
sallied forth to ensconce
in his tilling.


I waited, not being there I waited
while the pit of my stomach
devoured the void of my room

and the darkness of fingers melted
the lids of my eyes

while the dire of spices
ground out
the pores of my liver
not being there I waited

In the harpoon of light
I waited
in the sulfureous poisons
and gases I devoured the hours
one at a time, till the news disengaged
my eyes from
the knure of my fists.

The sky in the morning
suddenly barked!
just hours after their soldiers
departed by way of the burrows
that led to the spume of the shore.

everything hushed
everyone hushed, in the dampness of planets
everything gorged on the ominous future
everyone honed on the ineffable knowledge.

just moments away:
a diminutive scourge of the worlds!
a forbode of larger more final and ominous oceans

to be followed by love!


quiet and still barked the morning
and suddenly swallowed by the barrel leads
tongue the sun disappeared behind blood!

the cattle mooed suddenly slaughtered
by slivers of steel. blood unending blood.
impaled on the edge of a spear — a duck. great buckets of blood
unending blood.
the bawling black sky splintered in pieces. blood, troughs
full of blood.
and the pigs' eyes dropped into the red
of their pails
blood unending blood.

the infants' gouged hands drowned in the blood
and the featherless pigeons in flight succumbed
to the blood.

I was not there
but I heard
most alarming — the dumbness of cows
their treacherous fate

I was not there but I heard
the leaves dripping with blood

blood in the roots, unending blood
in the sky and the river.


the animals, calves and the hogs
drowned in the silence of madness
bleating toward merciless skies
the pain of their dying.

and the universe squealed
on its leg made of pumice.

dead everything dead
crying everything crying
numb everything numb


the womens' flesh burnt
in the heat of the jagged rages
of knives fell in the blood
and eruptions of bullets attended
the nuclear novas fell in the blood
The trembling blurred vision of waiting.
the numbness and dumbness of soldiers.
the tumbling acids of fleeing.
while the metal of bullets
hacked skulls into wood
the planets collided convulsed and disgorged
while the limbs of the trees
were severed from trunks
blood everywhere blood!
hewn into stone and despoiled
the kidneys and liver
fell in the blood
and the core of the earth swelled hot
toward the mantle and crust


unending explosions

mothers and earthquakes

unending disasters
the ice drowns the eyes
in the frost.

unending eruptions
the asteroids convulse
and the molten hot liquid globes.

dead everything dead!
dying everything dying!
numb everything numb!
crying everything crying!
stricken everything stricken!
gone everything gone!
the budding of leaves
suddenly gone!

Heavy Broom (March 23, 2004)

A heavy broom pounds at my door
—under the cracks
I feel its chill and rancor
already at my feet—

promising to sweep me
like dense fluid
into the sea's-drafts;
there be lashed
with needles of spume and foam
against substanceless rocks
—as the sky laughs
through a flight of birds—

and fade me
like frail moss into the salt sea
while each great sweep
of straw and withe
transmute to love
gold-hot and flowing red!

Bird (April 15, 2007)

The quiet door unlocks its rage1
and dissonance
is merged with song

while deep inside the anteroom
love's corpse-still-lies
silent as a vacant hive

and toward the chamber's grin
dry roots reach out... to trust
that is a snake beneath,
and further in.
so courage can no longer speak
to loss so deep

and once within the living room
the millstones there can never move;
just rearrange, never hope, never change—

wherefrom, depths' smallest sprig of light,
could move, the sound of joy,
the sound of flight.

Blush (December 31, 2007)

Filled with emptiness
my shades are drawn

and here
some knight or prince
in darkness lies:
what outside's sun
might shine upon
yet here not shining violates

thus living skewed
self conned and cunningly
I wait..
to rise from slumber's graphic blush —
before eternity is done.