Not bad! #6


Welcome to Not bad!, Talk Vomit’s Sunday morning poetry series. Today, we are featuring three poems by Boston-area poet Harry Meltzer.


The Boat
My roommate doesn’t let me say 
that I am crazy

that crazy has to be me
because the hurt that wraps itself in my chest
are the waves that sink the boat otherwise
they are the boat and the cracks in the bottom of it

my socks are damp
or I am drowning
I prefer wet laundry to wet lungs

dinghy – that’s how my therapist characterizes my depression
that part of myself floats in the ocean
trailing tattered cord that I am told 
once held me to the shore

in the metaphor the sky stormy and wide
the space between the walls of water
only enough to know that
beyond, more waves —
not enough to know
where is the shore

it’s like the painting on Robin Williams’ wall
in Good Will Hunting
or it would be
if I were a dinghy

but I am crazy
which is to say
that I am not a boat
and I’ll dry my laundry
when I am brave enough to 
pick myself up from the chair.

Suicide (loose)
There is suicide 
loose in the backyard

I found him
ashy face among the coals
digging holes with 
ashy paws
chewing bones out in the field
one tree crouched in gold half-autumn

whiskered lips curled teeth not tired

Mollusc
Imagine 
evolution misplaced
our mouths
and we salivated
from our palms so we
digested the things we hold close

imagine how dinner would change, 
how much we could say 
without food in our mouths
how I would

dissolve you 
in every touch, we would
cannibalize lovers with 
selfish fingers.

we ready
that poison behind our lips
let another taste us with
an acid kiss

we devour one another
anyway, so
what’s the difference.

Harry Meltzer draws inspiration from his experience in the fields of mental health, outdoor recreation and fitness. He owes his success to his four-legged manager who always keeps him on track. When he is not writing poems, Harry is drawn to nature, fascinated by relationships and empathy, and can always be found searching for little woodsy corners in the greater Boston area.


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