RD Armstrong, US



Free Verse




I watched you sleeping
After a night of sexual chaos
Breathing contentedly
The sounds of the world filtering
Through the open window
Along with the gray light of dawn
It was the best thing in my life
So right
So unreal
A piece of silk floating on the black lagoon
Blown in by the ongoing tornado
That is this crazy life
We call home

I could scarcely move for fear
That you would bound away like a startled doe

I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry

But then that moment was lost
Crushed and absorbed into the hungry maw
That was either your insatiable need for
Validation or the ongoing tornado
I really can’t determine which

Now I sit here
Amid the ruins
Another error
In the grand scheme of things
Told-you-so moment

Two years forward
And still spinning


Previously Published in Muddy River Poetry Review.



The bucket is suddenly empty

for Leonard J. Cirino, US


Ghost dog dreams
Chasing / being chased
The old demons
Last / lost hours
Agitation and fear
Haunted by
Old dreams / nightmares
Not crazy but insane enough
Terror in an old dog’s eye
As in life – so in death
No going out gently
Midnight at 3 pm
Old dog terrors
Ghosts returning
100 unfinished dreams
1000 unfinished thoughts
10000 unformed words
You face the end
The last rattling breath

No grand ideals left
Only the growing cold
The room filling with
A slow creeping fog
Moments / memories winking out
Madness takes the wheel
You veer off the main road
Heading off into the undiscovered country
No one can go with you this time
Your vision clouds over
Your words undone

A rippling image of the moon
In a leaky old bucket
A painful cry of a distant animal
A sudden cold wind rises from the land
You turning to face creation
The image of the moon
Suddenly stilled
The bucket empty


*Leonard J. Cirino ( 1943 - March 9, 2012), THE INSTRUMENT OF OTHERS. 100 pgs, Trade Paper, ISBN 978-1-929878-33-8, $15 retail…The late (1943-2012) Leonard Cirino’s poetry explores the space between the world our bodies inhabit and the symbolic world William Blake glimpsed, luminous with spirit and mystery. Negotiating that space requires more than verbal dexterity: it requires a faith in language that rejects Language Poetry’s misreadings of Derrida and Wittgenstein and disdains the Iowa School’s faux-nave nostalgia for family, farm, and Italian hillside villas. But timeless work is never quite in fashion, nor ever wholly out of it. Consistent with Cirino’s previous work, The Instrument of Others offers an array of accomplished poems that demonstrate his observation in “Rumination on Instinct” that “We barely know the possibilities / of what we should know, and what to believe”… from the Preface by William Doreski.

Direct Link to Lummox order page:

from Leonard's Blogger

A Place for the Poetry of Leonard Cirino and his Press









to the top



Copyright 2006-2012 Sketchbook and  All rights reserved