Friday, July 8, 2016

Three Poems from Bryan Damien Nichols

Night Piece

    -- for Michelle

Our appetites like waxwings at a feast
Of mulberry trees--fraught with thirst and fruit:
Exertion's sweat was waterfall for tongue
And lip, and could be seen to grace the teeth.
What salty water made, our contrast crowned:
My marble-colored flesh paired with your bands
Of silky brown--a pivot here and there
On pastel sheets turned, by moisture, like hair,
A darker hue--and with a painter's hands.
What can you say when shadows now abound
When light should reign--and when time is so brief?
What can you say when love seems now unsung
Because it can't be called great?  Is it moot
To think of this?  Is there truly no feast?

For Michelle

I dreamt you as a rainbow amidst white,
Though I was in white, but awaiting you;
And you dreamt me as strands of onyx,
Scarlet, and sapphire twisting round you,
Like licorice round a marble statue.
And I understood
Your Love, waving by your grace.
And you understood me twisting round you.

We both live and Love, my Michelle.
So when you weep, I think of this
Doubly layered dream and wonder
Why you, so full and frank and alive,
Should dread what dreams may come,
Though they arrive through me,
Or through you.

The Meeting

     -- for Michelle

I culled you from the background:
From foamy forest green and lethargic yellow
You arose in bright blue and bright red,
Your eyes like lanterns of strange fire
Thrusting onyx into the air.

You culled me from the background:
I was one--one among many--
Staring at you.

Our first encounter was but appetite.
Our words like stupid symbols.
The handshake was a masquerade,
Seconds long.  And more masquerading
For many minutes.

Then something else happened.

Does life erupt this way?
Does fate reign this way?

It's as if a thousand arrows
Were shot by some drunk
And only one found its mark.

Bryan Damien Nichols was born in Houma, Louisiana, on August 30, 1978.  He earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in Philosophy from Baylor University, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.  He has practiced law both in Houston and in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.  Bryan currently lives in Los Fresnos, Texas, with his loving wife, Michelle.  Bryan is best known for the poetry he writes through his two heteronyms:  (1) Kjell Nykvist; and (2) Alexander Shacklebury.  These two heteronyms were featured in Bryan's debut poetry collection, Whispers From Within (Sarah Book Publishing).  In his new collection, by contrast, Bryan writes in his own name, and explores numerous themes and issues that are important to him personally.  Through his heteronyms, and in his own name, Bryan has been published in dozens of literary journals, ezines, magazines, and anthologies.

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