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New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

4 poems by Alfred Booth

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Alfred Booth is an American professional pianist who lives in France. He folds origami; its patience often inspires poetry. When he not at the piano learning new arcane repertoire to stretch his horizons, he teaches would-be amateur musicians to put enough bread on the table. He has studied extensively harpsichord and the cello. Currently he has an 82-poem volume journaling a recent dance with cancer and a 34-poem chapbook of ghazals looking for a homes in the professional world of rhyme. A large handful of his poetry can be found in the e-zines Dead Snakes, I am not a silent poet and Spring Fling. He keeps an online portfolio at: https://www.writing.com/main/portfolio/view/troubadour.

 

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poetry has no answers for any prayers

 

stark seas cultivate dissonance
winds smash into land and bring no resolution
unwanted memories from desolation
they fondle their few trinkets
dispossessed
and learn new definitions of suffer
synonyms and antonyms for survival
bleached by the totality of loss
they try not to continue dying
radios cannot play love songs
with melodies that grate against
loss encrusted with mud
rusted, they pray, trusting
still, which god will answer?
he who permitted this magnitude of fate
or he who offers concealed secrets
to contend with the abundance
thrown away
in life’s name
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this sudden vista is a last sunset

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a tin cup, silver-lined photographs
key rings young and old
which occasionally clank
along with a few wind chimes
a gold frame flirting within emptiness
postcards signed with love from here
and there, memorabilia, things lost
now found again, an alarm clock
here time is silent, woven bracelets
a cow bell, its silent prayer
a pair of wedding rings, a dog’s leash
and collar, a few weathered stuffed
animals, a carved wolf’s head
souvenirs, like the tomb
of the unknown soldier
nailed to a pine tree, sparse branches
looming over naked bark
this strange collection humbles its host
planted as a century’s solitary landmark
between unknowable compass points
where tears no longer fall, here
five thousand feet in the mountains
this inhospitable corner
the wind’s howl keeps these souvenirs
no one can explain why
and I, the latest wanderer
empty my own pockets
searching for a treasure
you left me nothing to share
but the loneliness of this place
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Funeral rites for the death of an artist

After the piano piece of the same name by William Alwyn
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Japanese fans tap, a close up of tears shed on national broadcast
black was strictly forbidden
sixteen eulogies torn
from the raw canvas of rouged goblets overflowing
with sentiments portrayed at the end of so many operas
every color represented splashing
rainbows and brassy kaleidoscopes
national theatres lent costumes besting grand couturier red carpets
poets did not heckle, masked as Greek choruses, their declaiming
simultaneous, each with his verse
dealt a universal harmonization of life
this final celebration coronnated with gardens of white blossoms
a tour de force of a thousand greenhouses, politisation with tweezers
to bear this everlasting perfection
musicians played brocaded melodies
of minor intervals as acrobats and ballerinas leapt behind the pall bearers
unified in turquoise, the color of her eyes when the lights were just so
her lips pursed in a fate-defying
“I have loved you all
in the momentous eternity of  silence caressing each of my words, drowned
out, muted, overwhelmed by discordant tremolos, yes, I shall love you all
in this last breath beyond my death …”
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septentrional

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I found it scribbled in my night pages
a notion I rambled about
in the mess of unconscious dancing
with meadow grasses easing themselves
aside as these fall leaves crumple
with bright colors
and try to ward off death
my green nightshirt stripped
pink naked skin blurs a lostness
I reposition my glasses
seeking guidance from a simple
mirror, I never saw
or learned to follow
the north star or its libraries
of wisdom
death cannot touch the flourish of my dreams
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