Michael Timothy Rose lives in Westchester New York and works as an electronics specialist and technical project manager. He currently does poetry readings throughout the Hudson Valley. He has been published in Stonesthrow creative writing anthology, as well as Chronogram Magazine, and is soon to be published in the 2017 Karpeles and CAPS poetry anthologies. He is a member of Hudson Valley Poets, Calling All Poets Society, and Karpeles poetry groups. The Rattles is his first published collection of poems. Michael holds an Associate of Arts in Humanities from Dutchess Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from SUNY New Paltz.

On the Spirit of Words (A non-villanelle)

I imagine myself without the know-how to find the words:
without a well to dip my fingertips like buckets into deep dreams
of wells. I am sitting here in a chair with no more than a few inspired words,
(dervishes of dervishes of swirling lights of words).

But I drop my hands. I am captive in my golden chest. I hurl it; I rummage from within it;
I search for diamonds in that golden palpitation, ventilating—like a whooshing military jet.
And the dirt, there? It sets much like a sun does set—like a stirring mold, or a fog—"roamingly."
And that dirt is
metamorphized into letters and the letters quench the inmost seams
of my most in-moist holes.
The dirt inside my ribs turns to mud and then becomes
so hard, so hard that wing-flapping little birds

shortly do and shortly will become like a good vinegar—
sweet, and bitter, and sour, all at once,
and will will to build upward, like city dwellers will,
dwell to build cages, changes and pages, like millers, civilizations and writers dwell to do,
and fly high when ready for bigger worlds,
types of worlds which remain without the restrictions of skeletal beams, it seems.
And so these same sweet birds, slow and sweet as molasses, then, metamorphize into my breath, and feel, at that juncture, as unfurled as
my spirit right now feels unwhirled.

This unwhirling is the succinct-est definition of my spirit.
It ascends to sky along the side of dogged leashless roams of herds,
heads pointed up to the tip of some mountain top in the wintry wilderness of poetic form.
I, I tell you, will metamorphize it —with fullest and big-bellied intention— into steam,
and make these animal roams more intangible to me
than my spirit and its karmic ascent to a Himilayan mountain temple,
wherein I am ample, and my interior steams as lurid as
a leery and lurid light: herded and unherded, sweetly sweetly unherded,

unknotted sleepily by the sleep-walking goddess of the moonlight.
Yes, I search for a word I must confine with nails, with guards, with boards.
This is so that I may keep that word in eternity, so that I may maintain it in low meager gleams,
in a slowest death-release, slow like the mirrors of light fading out
in the final sarcophagal bed chambers of kings, of Egypt, —that long eternal vault that stirs
in the cosmos, cosmically cosmically stirs and stirs

stirs---like a blue and red starry soup. The poems, or my breath, they likewise do stir.
And they keep their wet ink wet and far and home and away from herds that do not roam as animaling herds—
roves of scholars of men who wish to bridge with flaky black slate the infiniteness of my dreams
of wells. And so, as I began: I imagine myself without the know-how
to find those plum-red wheel barrel words.
For I am here sitting in a chair with only the spirit of my
self —hewn out at the expense of all others and their own holy holy turns.


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The Poet's Lamentation

A million pages, slats, and pins,
covers and supine bindings,
erupt off of shelves like colored
leaves of fall crawling down
and up crooked suburban streets
like dancing dunes of deserts;
wild gestures from the earth.

I stoop in poetic lamentation.
I stoop, but dying insects slowly
slink, go greet narrow pathways
on quiet arches near square
green gardens.

Keep beds. House ungrateful
breaths inside untimely waxy graves.

There in my fuzzy orange mosses, they
finally endure a good sleep and feel
full.

Moonbeams reach their hands into these shallow
openings. A café emits jazz and pop rays inside.
Meanwhile, the bugs gratefully breach the ugly
trench-line between time and literary turpentine.

Birds lap lightly, lowly, wholly,
but I do not glow yet. Radiant rafters sunlit
softly cast fading flight upon slow
folding river dreams. Asters float
freely, glimpse the looming lips of
winter.

Birds lap lightly, lowly, wholly, glow.
Golden sunlit rafters set. Tiring birds

fly, land, and depart,
fly, land, and depart,
like flowers wilting
inside a mucky vase.

The solace of the sun echoes, fecund,
in humid wave-swept halls. Sodden
star-ladders lean between Earth and
moon: lean weightless in between
the moons, grow hapless in between
the Earths.

Slow, I walk onto docks disheveled, drunken,
onto sleeping city streets, permeate the wall of
false truth nestling in the yellow-light world.
Aglow is the nighttime-earth. For a day, at least,
fast have I flown from faithfully naming the world.

My mother makes foam on the beaches of my
memory. My dog whistles to me through the trees
and tells me to come home, and I lift my spirit
tall and keep the names of the saints in my heart.

In dusk-laden mirror world at 7, beside deep
galactic twinkling, I am two million visions of
self, exchanging eyes with two million voices
of self. I am many contents without the crumbly
skin of a calciferous moon, whimpers within
the hills' winds, vocals hung without local guts,
echoes fast irrupting irresponsibly flopping free
filling mental gourds with ethereal unholy lords.

I trick you, hollow and criminal,
but wish to flower under, down under,
like a knife of a Zen butcher:
through the flesh to the bone,
to the bone through the flesh.

This acute slayer knows the truth, thinks I:
weaves a cleaver in and out of god's inner
workings, like a good writer heaves buckets of
verbs, emergent winnows of cindering ink
fishing, nets poised atop an electric powered boat. 

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Christmas

Here tonight the dogs are dreaming of meadows and game.
My uncle and cousins are missing Martha and refraining
from bringing her name into the ether.
We also are refraining.

The river Styx is flowing and Martha is dancing, because rain
falls in many places in New York, and the trees and scuttling
ticks of this delayed winter are drinking happy cups from plentiful
puddles, and because grounds freeze over and drives are icy, and
monsoons billow, and rays of sun pour down relentlessly in Arizona;
also, because guitar strings stir the cosmos like a cosmic-sized ladle
and smiles spill from quiet still bellies into the room containing us.

Doors open at 4am and feet trudge. And it has been a long day,
and the remainder of us are happy, and the remnants of the night
are not so still like ashes.

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The Rolling Pin

It's been a long week, and I think of the rolling pin again,

---flattening my working corpse like a velvet flower head
that is pressed in between the pages of a book.

I feel less longing than usual.
Time enters me but feels less like a bandit than it usually feels.
I long but the longing is sweet like yellow tea; a welcomed visitor.

Already, I miss my brother, whose wonderful wanderer's feet
are taking him to China tomorrow.
He searches for his own yellow tea, his green China tea.
He is a young freight-ship of voyagers balancing on the ocean,
like a tightrope walker, like a breadcrumb or a canoe;
he is in search of his India, the newer continent
of his growing self; or, perhaps the very same self.
Who knows? He is special like that.

I will miss my brother from this moment until tomorrow,
and for that matter, and while we are on the subject, until I die.

Ahhhh, the rolling pin rolls.

These words, indeed, are the best part of me
---squeezed out of me like a papyrus juice,
sweets reeds, jaw-bent lines of scriptural pulp.

I head to my church tonight, mass of
choice-words and humanity in which
to receive holy water and reconstitute myself.
There, in the water and breath of
God's literary disciples, I quiet myself
and rest in the warm sepulchers of God
like a Gaelic voice in the pews of a
boundless infinite nothing. I sleep with
those fellow clouds that go wandering
"high […] o'er vales and hills."

I pray with the poets and friends of the wide, wide world.

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