Creek

You wade barefoot into the creek,
your dress damp to your knees
and you turn back to see
if I would follow you.

How do I tell you
about the ghosts I see
nipping at your toes,
minnows in the water,

about the little mouths of shadows
that sail lazy among the leaves
on the surface of the stream?

The sunlight filters down
to glisten on the eddies and on you
and you splash laughter dancing,

but how do I tell you
as sweet as wading in the river
of your happiness sounds,

I can join you with my body
but not with my soul.

I am shorebound today,
unbaptised and heavied,
there are rocks in my pockets
that your laughter cannot lighten,
I cannot go into the water with you

but please keep laughing,
and splash your joy upon my face,
pour cupfuls of it over my head,
you chase the ghosts with brightness
back into their shallows,
you make the shadows shut their mouths.

— Adam Kamerer


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Behind The Scenes

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-- Adam Kamerer

All You Need Is Love

I woke up this morning
in a tar pit.

Bedsheets thick sticky
with black worry, pillow
sweat yellow to my skull
with nightmare
and night sweats.

I am thinking of mammoths
in La Brea, how I too
will be fossilized in this mire
if I can’t wash myself off
and stand up.

There’s an ache in my chest,
muscle and bone mimicking
the muck fist that clutches
my spirit. It is anchored
to the bedsprings, to the frame,
and I’m afraid if I lift myself up,
it will tear the heart out of me.
I exhaust myself with heaving
thrashes, and only bury deeper.

But,
I am also thinking of a Beatles song,
a small weak voice crooning from
somewhere beyond the tar,
a gentle reminder in the shape of a melody
that no one I want to save
can’t be saved,
even myself
and I want to go in search of it,
but how?

Tiny gestures.
Swallow pill,
brush teeth,
bathe body,
drink sunlight,
and feel the bog ease off,
even if it rages.
I will love myself in tiny spasms
and dig myself out

at least for today.

— Adam Kamerer


Listen:


Behind The Scenes

Want to know the story behind this poem? Patrons who pledge $5/month or more get access to behind-the-scenes notes on my poems.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

-- Adam Kamerer