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Blackbirds Flap Outside Barnes & Noble & Circadian Rhythm

by Robert Baylot


Blackbirds Flap Outside Barnes & Noble

I sip, sip, sip the Pike Place grande
Slide a novel on my table aside.
In the café, lattes foam,
Allusions escape the page and roam.

Blackbirds flap outside Barnes and Noble,
I see through the window, they form an oval,
Saying my life is a zero,
A book without a hero.

Never, never, will there be
A poem as mighty as a tree,
Never, never, nevermore,
Calling out to the Lost Lenore.

An anthology of stories poked the novel,
Published text, not mine I grovel:
Why do blackbirds dot the door,
Parked there like so many bored
Creatures who left the black of night
And perch upon the window
And blot away my light …

Reading, sipping, rapping upon the table,
Glaring at the birds of sable,
Can I escape their glare of elation?
I’ll take the cup and leave this chamber,
Never knowing what has brought their anger,
Never, I say, never, nevermore.


Circadian Rhythm

Night has long ago fallen, and I am awake,
Television blares, focused on strategic implications of the minute.
Barely listening, engaged barely, not sleeping,
National emergencies creeping
Into the sleep I am not sleeping.

Practice dictates breathing deeply, calmly,
Relaxing the muscles,
Perhaps tightening them first,
One by one.

Ancient aliens may or may not have guided us,
Ronco set it and forget it may be the answer,
But in my sleep zone
I fight the schism
With circadian rhythm.

Later, before the morning is painstakingly analyzed,
I sleep.


In addition to past publication in Deep South Magazine, Robert Baylot has recently published poetry in The Broad River Review and Clarion Magazine. His short fiction recently appeared online in Mysterical E. He lives in Germantown, Tennessee. 

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