The poetry of Steven Harz / “Songs you can’t dance to

Songs you cant dance to_cover

Songs you can’t dance to

 

The cloud that covers me when

I trace the curve of your back

 

The blindness that overcomes me

when I see the back of your knee

 

The hangover I fight through

on the morning after we touch

 

The momentary blackout you cause

as you lean in eyes closed for a kiss

 

The dense fog that surrounds

when you show me your love

 

The deafening beat of my heart

as it is pressed onto yours

 

The numbing buzz of my skin

underneath your fingertips

 

The frantic swim to the surface

so I don’t drown in my emotion

and in our twisted tangled sheets

 

As I wait for you to come back

from sleep and your dreams

these all invade my head

 

And as with songs you can’t dance to

I am beside you listening to them

in a warm horizontal haze

 

“Songs you can’t dance to” originally appeared my book of the same title – available at Amazon in eBook format.

The poetry of Steven Harz / “Falling”

fear of heights

The poetry of Steven Harz / “Falling”

Today
my promise to you
is to overcome 
my fear of heights
tomorrow
so that I can begin to
climb and float and soar
eyes open and looking down
so that I can practice
repeatedly
falling off of rooftops
falling out of trees and
falling from balloons
until I have earned
and learned to live with
my cuts and bruises and
scars
like badges of honor
that show the world
that I am able to
fall in love with you
properly

“Falling” originally appeared in my book, ‘Gas Station Road Map’ – available at Amazon in paperback and eBook.

the poetry of steven harz / “Gas station road map”

Gas Station Road Map_cover_BW

Gas station road map

 

Your history had been

written in pencil

on bathroom walls

by inaccurate historians

bent on cruel conquest

rather than mutual capture.

And while we had been told

history is written by the victor,

I do not subscribe to that theory

because, in actuality, history

is written by those who

survive the longest, and

since you are here with me,

and they have disappeared,

I have taken an eraser and

eliminated your past,

allowing us to rediscover

the world, together, using

a bottom drawer broken compass

and aiming the frozen needle

anywhere we need true north

or due south to be.

We do not discover with a plan

like Lewis and Clark and their

covered wagon wheel ruts

and Chinook canoe wakes,

but rather meander with a purpose,

taking clues from junkyard road signs and

Howard Johnson 50 state placemats.

And along the way we are comforted by

mismatched borrowed rocking chairs

and the distant big band signal

coming from a friendly front porch

1935 Detrola Cathedral vacuum tube radio

with its map of the world station dial

that helps us avoid the fault line

that runs from your lips to my chest.

And one twist of the radio’s dial to the right

points us towards Komodo Island and its

dragon discovered by the Dutch,

and to the left the West Indies where

ancient history is broadcast on

the coconut telegraph,

and each step forward is a

quicksand leap toward comfort,

and we walk the extra mile

barefoot down median strips

holding hands, with a posture suggesting

a mix of love for each other and

protection from the world,

and when we reach our destination

we will rewrite history,

yours mine and ours, with permanent ink

in the margins of a public library atlas,

and will compose our future

word for word along the rural routes of a

gas station road map.

 —

“Gas station road map” originally appeared as a part of the Iron Writer Challenge and is contained my my book of the same title – available at Amazon in paperback and eBook.

the poetry of steven harz / “Anno Domini (A.D.)”

car keys

Anno Domini (A.D.)

 

In the beginning I was a void

but now

you have become the light

allowing me

to find my missing parts

(and car keys)

now I want so badly to recite to you

our future from memory

and I know that if I lean into you,

and try very hard

and lie a little

to my heart and your ears

it could sound

like The Bible

(minus miracles)

with the part before you

fat with floods and famine

and the part since

full of hope and belief

while skipping over

the final chapter

in an attempt

to avoid

the rapture

 

 

This poem originally appeared in my book, “Gas Station Road Map” – available at Amazon in paperback and eBook.

the poetry of steven harz / “Stitched-together heart”

bare bulb

Stitched-together heart

 

You have blown your fuse

and are becoming

almost impossible to see

day or night

 

Your light used to

shine with such force that

when you arose each morning

you cast my shadow against the sun

 

Now when I pull the string that

made your bare bulb shine

it instead unravels your

stitched-together heart

 

I’d been afraid of the dark

until you found me causing

my internal prism to bend

your halo shine around

the curve of the earth

overtaking everyone else’s glow

 

So I am buckling up boots and coat

against the sudden frost and

making the hardware store hike

so I can replace the fuse that is

responsible for the light at

the end of your tunnel

Stitched-together heart” originally appeared in my book ‘Gas Station Road Map’ (2014) – available at Amazon in paperback and eBook format.

The poetry of Steven Harz / “Falling”

holding hands train track

Falling 

 

Today

my promise to you

is to overcome

my fear of heights

tomorrow

so that I can begin to

climb and float and soar

eyes open and looking down

so that I can practice

repeatedly

falling off of rooftops

falling out of trees and

falling from balloons

until I have earned

and learned to live with

my cuts and bruises and

scars

like badges of honor

that show the world

that I am able to

fall in love with you

properly

copyright 2013

“Falling” originally appeared in my book, ‘Gas Station Road Map’ – available at Amazon in paperback and eBook.

Poetry / “Scorched earth love”

scorched earth

Scorched earth love

 

You preferred

to make love slowly,

as if you were afraid

that any increased speed

would cause friction

that would spark the oxygen

we hadn’t yet used,

sending up

the room around us.

 

I preferred

the speed of passion

and impurity,

because with my

dying-from-the-inside-out,

scorched earth

approach to love,

I’d rather turn out the lights

just to watch us burn.

 

“Scorched earth love” won Honorable Mention in the 2017 Al Savard Memorial Poetry Contest of the Connecticut Poetry Society

“Cradle of the Earth” is featured at ‘The Voices Project’

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My poem, “Cradle of the Earth,” was recently featured at The Voices Project – more about this initiative below.

Please read the piece here!

The Voices Project is a non-judgmental venue for women, and also men, to express their personal stories and observations through poetry to promote social change. We publish the work of women and girls in the United States and international community no matter what their age or background, who might not otherwise have opportunities to share their stories. The hope is to bring the voices of these individuals forward, providing a creative pathway leading to growth and empowerment, and in turn affecting everything within their lives. Although our main focus is on women’s literature, we do publish (and celebrate!) the voices of men, as it’s important we are all a part of the conversation and mission.

10 second love story: “The sacrament of sorrow”

neon tubes

The sacrament of sorrow

 

After the box opened, allowing us to walk again

among the most of the living and some of the dead,

we lifted each other up so often and so high

that he were forced to begin practicing to fall.

 

But while we were at such great heights,

and searching for a common god,

I used my telescope to locate the future

while you cleaned your magnifying glass

for a closer look at today.

 

Together we discovered that, while

I am the occasional crack of light

under your sometimes closed door,

you are the thing that I miss so much

during desolation and desperation

as if sorrow was a sacrament.

 

But even at the lowest times hope hangs midair,

unmoving like last week’s party balloon.

With another pump of our past, and a

pinch of courage between my cheek and gum,

we regain our height and I collect for you

tails of shooting stars that you bend

like neon tubes into an arrow pointing at

tomorrow.

copyright 2015

‘Sacrament of Sorrow’ is contained in my collection titled, “Self Inflicted Heart Shaped Wounds” – available at Amazon in paperback and ebook.