Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 21 . . .

Poem without adjectives

     by JB Mulligan

Pity the poem without adjectives

as it staggers through the night.

It wipes the rain from its face

and ponders how to describe

the minds of its generation,

the hands not even the rain has.

The wheelbarrow, the chickens,

are shadows. The sands stretch

in drabness away from the plaque,

from the sneer. The sea of Homer

misses its companion. Aeneus

cannot locate his piety.

The poem lifts a bottle. "Nothing?"

The crash of glass, like a wave.

"I need a fu...."

It groans. "I can't do it.

I need.... Oh, I need

a drink. And an adjective."

Its skin shakes. Its eyes totter.

Ahead of it, day leads into day

like the houses in a city

in lines down the streets,

no adjectives there. Emptiness.

It stands on a corner,

waiting for the light

to change from a color

which cannot be said, to....

It sobs. The rain

drums a march

as if from a distance:

the graveyard

where they buried

all the adjectives.


JB Mulligan has had poems and stories published in dozens of magazines, including recently Deronda Review, Red Rock Review, Crucible, Stone's Throw, and Perceptions. He has written two chapbooks: The Stations of the Cross and This Way to the Egress, and his poetry appeared in the anthology Inside Out: A Gathering of Poets.


© 2011 JB Mulligan