One can go on and on,
perpetually aspiring
to capture a moment
of truth on paper

Only to arrive at a point
where it seems there is none
at least not as one’s forward
thinking mind would have it.

While set pure and free
by that moment, one also
becomes enthralled by something
well and truly beyond words…

It seems I have again gotten
ahead of myself, tried to trick
the whole of human existence
into a sharp turn of phrase

As if it were a timid animal
and not an eternal moment
void of beginning
middle or end…

Or even some tensive
inflection perverting this
present away… In this way
it seems at times like the world

could rightfully be saved
or the whole in vivo experiment
distilled with just the right
collaboration of words


Trans missive

Though i sleep to forget
it is not possible, i believe

this tidy little thing of volition…
A sallow-faced madness

calling out through the night
where there is no one

not even me
Motivation drags feet

through the mud
quite the feat for these

boots moving me
anxious towards

ramshackle door…
Where life unfolds

at an instant
bringing a rainswept

day into the valley…
Moments of anticipation

that precede the felt feeling
at every waking

roll of the dice
Artists of neuroses

fill this windy town
where work is an option, money

a goal gone fickle further away…
Art at its best

in absentia
The world refunding

its many givens
Tattoos to expand

over this shroud of skin
shielding my mind, among

others, with its tears.


Wanderlust carried him to the farthest-flung corners of the world. A love of language spurred
him to document what he found there. These poems are drawn, in part, from that record.
Absalom Cortes’s poetry has appeared in the online journal Rigorous.