(We must learn to tell) stories


The art to propel
The electric current
Shooting off the table.
The fork extending from the carcass,
The fork sticking out of the socket
Buzzing with a potential energy
We must write smell–the aroma of roses,
Nausea, and birth.
Visions, the shock of the body found
Among salamanders on the bank
Of the dark green river,
A crumpled can of Bud light
Bobbing up and down at her gray lips
Like a Dante-ian Dore engraving.
Must elicit recognition, connection:
“That could have been me.”
“Maybe it should have been me.”
If dreams really came true,
Prayers were answered,
Stories would smell somewhat like this. Exactly.
They would sound like stomach acid at work
Like the tolling of a bell
If you tell a story well,
It is no longer a story;
It is an eclipse,
An earth tremor.
A miracle.
Measurable, quantifiable,
Canonized, and the purpose for
Tears, seppuku, and long-distance phone calls.
A story well-told is
An embryo’s first flutter kick,
A crack in the ice,
A shift in a shaft of silver light
Underneath the closet door.
Emergence and bright beauty.
Telling a story well
Propels the blood
Through the very veins
Of the universe.


Clint Locks created the Brownwood Open Mic Music & Poetry group, and is the author of the cheap-ass self-published chapbooks “Paper Clips” and “What Now?” and one real-live published collection entitled This Ocean Used to be A Desert (Boabob Press). He performs his work naked in the shower, and fully clothed at the So You’re A Poet reading series in Boulder.

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