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May 2023
I used to write my poems in the dark, inside a hazy trance,
and cross-legged on midnight carpets.
Specters fanned around my knees like a magic trick, shuffling
gloom like parlor cards at a cabaret and recasting it something elegant.
Magic tricks are just a thing that happen to me.

I’d say a spell and words erupted from my haunted parts;
a sleight of hand for handed slights,
a sleight of heart while handling my own, always wet and dripping.
I collected words like coins and spent them like mourning candles.
Ennui is just a thing that happens to me.

I busked my city for praise, preyed on walker-bys,
stirred up a crowd with my charm and bewitching need,
then watched their eyes lose interest in my illusion, in my luster.
They’d move on, regretting the dollar they placed in my hat.
Dejection is just a thing that happens to me.

My bag of tricks hasn’t charmed in years, but I still polish the leather,
keep my luck tucked inside, try to keep my wits sharp and my candles lit.
I can still conjure up a crowd, spin a pretty phrase, alliterate and allocate,
string words like beads, pluck them like a harp, and hook like a huckster.
Enchantment is just a thing that happens to me.
Kiernan Norman
Written by
Kiernan Norman  Connecticut
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