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“The Skin of Meaning”

Book Excerpt: The Skin of Meaning

The Skin of Meaning

He was late to the party and without directions,
though his invitation was secure, and his instincts
keenly honed to an acceptable edge, and as we are
waiting to see if the fates will hear our ode to joy,
we are given the sound of a man losing everything;
this is the hissing of his agitation, the sound of his
broken heart as it is given and fills with shards,
a piece of stone in an overgrown garden, a stiff,
bitter, life-long secrecy tipping over a robust
single indiscretion and no one is witness to the
villain, shaved to a shadow in that moment,
letting the sail of his love loose in a ripping wind
and that lost direction reducing his reflection to
a splinter as he spends his summer cutting down
the grass which grows right back and when the
colder weather comes to drive him down he trims
the fat of his summer words and their loose darkness
swims round his leather chair, the garden vines
emptied of tone, their edges’ innuendo snarling,
the hidden realities so carefully furrowed in shy
smiles and feigned deference which fasten his
fading future, slowly shot through with the wrinkles
of original meaning that he has never outgrown.

“The Skin of Meaning”

Copyright (c) 2020 by Keith Flynn. All rights reserved. Keith Flynn is the award-winning author of six collections of poetry and an essay collection, The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Memory. From 1984-1999, he was lyricist and lead singer for the nationally acclaimed rock band The Crystal Zoo, which was formed in Nashville and produced three albums. Flynn is founder and managing editor of Asheville Poetry Review.

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