offbeatjim

An opening that permits escape


headless man
face in shadow
offbeatjim
why would you behead
a headless man?

he’s already how you want
him

or are you
how
he
wants you?

-- Jim Wittenberg
5/31/2010

underground poet
face in shadow
offbeatjim
he wanted to be an underground
poet
but the words & dirt
caved in on him

he looked up and saw light
thru the floating dust
& thought
someone would come to rescue him

but no one came

they weren’t even aware
he was missing

-- Jim Wittenberg
5/30/2010

performance
face in shadow
offbeatjim
forget your lines
& your understudy plays your role
does it feel like you aren’t
needed?

life is a performance before a large audience
you’re unprepared and you fail

someone else hears the clapping
that should’ve
been
yours

-- Jim Wittenberg
5/23/2010

scratched
face in shadow
offbeatjim
it was silly for her to hold a rose
in her teeth

she scratched her lip on a thorn

it bled

bled

bled

& she didn’t get any sympathy

-- Jim Wittenberg
5/18/2010

smiling
face in shadow
offbeatjim
the sky is blue-black
& early morning infects my imagination

touch my hands, I say
lifting them high above my head

and the sky looks down
smiling

otherwise unable to
react

-- Jim Wittenberg
5/9/2010

page forty-three
face in shadow
offbeatjim
open the book to page
forty-three
look around in evident confusion
and mumble to yourself that this isn’t the page
you were last reading when you placed
the book
down
on its face the previous evening

no one’s concerned about your confusion
they aren’t even concerned about their own

& everyone in the room
with you
is imaginary anyway

you chased all the real people away with
madness

© Jim Wittenberg
3/21/2010

this is
face in shadow
offbeatjim
this is the dead zone of my
imagination
this is
where I come to dig weeds
from the cracks in the sidewalk
this is what my sorrow
leads me into

this is feeling lonely in a crowd
this is what happens
when I run
thinking I’ve seen the face
of my long lost best friend
but I am mistaken

this is stopping in midstride
this is
disappointment
this is failing to express myself
this is wondering why
I didn’t jump off
when I looked over
the earth's edge

this is wondering why
I haven't fled from myself

-- Jim Wittenberg
3/8/2010

we don’t need creativity
face in shadow
offbeatjim
creativity is
a ruse
the manipulation of senses
the infusion of ideas
into
the minds
of the dying, the sleeping, the
exhausted from working too many hours

we grab our hammers
& beat the people with ideas senseless

we don’t need
creativity
we don’t want creativity
all that creativity has ever given us
is confusion

do you want to be confused?

I don’t

here, grab this hammer
& let’s hope the creative don’t fight back

-- Jim Wittenberg
2/25/2010

Wi-Fi
face in shadow
offbeatjim
the neighbor boy tells you a story
about getting mugged while he was stealing
Wi-Fi
when standing
around the corner

and how they almost stole his laptop

it’s all too real for you
it’s all too
authentic

& you curse the day you bought your house
and moved into this damn
neighborhood

it might happen to me, you think

& then you think, FUCK!
it was MY SIGNAL he was stealing

-- Jim Wittenberg
2/23/2010

unwanted
face in shadow
offbeatjim
lost in silence
why
did I become a poet?
why did I choose to spill my blood
this way?
the words escape me and become their own
lost in my world of silence
why did I become a poet?

confusion surrounds
me
confusion controls my existence
confusion dictates my life

lost in silence
I have always been lost in silence
what I write becomes its own master
it no longer has a need or use for
me
the poet is unwanted by the poem
the poet is unwanted by his own poetry

lost in silence
why
did I become a poet?
why did I choose to spill my blood
this way?

-- Jim Wittenberg
2/21/2010

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