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Poems by P. F. Sheckarski


A crucifix of cottonwood, erected
late June three years ago,
ripened like hands unfolding after prayer
as my son sobbed about his
girlfriend. I told him
Get some air; it's stuffy in here.

He agreed, and sniffled snot and angst
while I remained to rest my
fingertips upon his windowsill.
He moped across the lawn, and on the swingset,
swayed. In a wind adorned with cottonseed,

catkins burst like wounds:
beautiful in their resilience.

Tulsa Tundra


Evanston Avenue flits along the edge of ORU
like prayers upon the ears of god.
Underneath, we used to sneak
into the drainage pipe, the winter campus hills
a sledder's seventh heaven.
To keep ourselves clean of sewer muck,
we once brought wire clippers.
Oral patched the fence and posted notice:
Beware of God.


When snowflakes clung to her hair like winter lint,
I would not go sledding down the hill.
Instead, straddling the runners, I watched her
shake them loose.
Denuded on the Tulsa tundra,
she laughs as I chase, downhill,
the sled that got away.


Evanston winters lasted one day,
twenty-four hours
of hoarding register heat with blankets;
of burning lips with cocoa;
of a sledding spill's frostburn;
of embarassed blushes over truth--
spending all day with snow and making
sled-jumps, snowmen, and angels,
we'd forgotten that tomorrow
only slush would be there.

Virginity, in A Minor

The evening's awkward conversation ends,
a tuning of emotional instruments
preceding our concerto--
but first, a silence
as the music slips away from clothing.

Inside you
I am turning slowly and wailing
Italian operettas to a crowd of millions.
You must sing with me
or I shall blush like wine.

Refrains of after-singing sighs,
and interludes of rejuvenating oxygen,
intercede an encore.


I'd been watching
for her
in a crowd of featureless beauties--
their names an apocryphal mass of letters.
It was as difficult as finding Christ in His Entry into Brussels.
All the surrounding faces, masks:
skulls' and jesters' grins.
All the fetters of their Abercrombie clothes, confetti.

I waved my arms in ancient salute,
a moment
saw me,

and I wonder if I was
a Face among faces.

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Biographical sketch: I developed an interest (read: obsession) with
language at an early age. Still a student, I continue to edify my craft.

P. F. Sheckarski recommends:

Wild Dreams of a New Beginning by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Reason: Although his poetry is too often entangled with the psychedelic abstraction of the beat generation, his concrete images and grandiose themes are difficult to resist.

Get Wild Dreams of a New Beginning
at amazon.com!

Recommendations for writers:

I do not say what I mean--I show it, a fascinating insect caught with my bare hands, inert in the creases of my palm and suffocated by the grip of my wonder.

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