from Of Flesh Sculptures And Abandoned Love… ‘Life On Other Planets’







In the house I supposedly own, someone broke in
the other night and took me for granted. I felt
no alarm or fright since it had gotten to be
quite a familiar habit. Whoever it was used
my chair, drank my wine, smoked my cigarettes,
then fell asleep at my desk after having composed
some poems I couldn’t possibly recognize as my own.

Later when he awoke I noticed nothing missing, though
things such as my notebooks, books, and even guitars
had been rearranged. My clothes undisturbed, my shoes
and boots lined up like soldiers at attention.
The cat remained curled, the woman fast asleep –
as far as they could tell there’d been no change at all,
the discovery of life on other planets a dream.

I sat outside near the cypress tree watching the stars’
light finally reach me, though my name was not called.
I felt a shadow fall, standing startled to see it
lean against the wall offering a silent conspiracy:
a secret knowledge I must learn to inhabit. Undone
by a score of lessons learned, I knew nothing again
before I could burn in my hidden solitude.

Who would stop at nothing would forever persist –
returning travelers rejoicing knew this, as I did
yet would regret and repent what I could refuse
to experience; any number of mouths and lips, whispering
in a different language than daylight, bringing those
things already known which, before I look too close:
I look away from into the nearest distance I chose.

© Dean Baker

my books –








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