“Ashes and Pause” by J.J. Blickstein

Ashes and Pause


Beckett was a fraud.


No style.

Know nothing.

No nourishment.

No company. No tenants. No money.

No obligation. No art. No mention. No hero.

No No.


No defense from shadow as an ally

By calling a bomb darkness or Blake

Or an impulse

Soot as imprint and blood

You shit on the floor

Because it takes your mumbling

Causeway to a cracked tooth

When you wander or sleep in an agenda

That door opening and closing in the dark

Without fingers or wind

Again and again

Anger in light

Scratched record in the dance music

Old voice in acetate

Scratched dissolution

…A knife… A knife… A knife…

A butcher in the radius

An attack by a ghost whose entire body is also a fraud

Can become anything it wants to

When its skin comes off

Written in the language of bread as if it were a bed

Gathering evil as a shimmer in the static—


You were upset long before meeting Joyce.


Inappropriate laughter beneath the floor

A little tremor with a sailboat

And a clean wound

Read the history backwards

As an unfamiliar culture

Until it is interior in pieces

Back before embracing failure and sketch

To where Dublin was impervious

And could only be attacked by its preservation.


Tripwire in the imaginary sand with contempt

Breaking all those bones in a lion

As if it were a metaphor inside ambition


No hero. No woman could wait that long.

No way back. Say goodbye.

Perfect tits

Cannibal in a mirage in Braille

Erasing one bullet at time

As a prayer to a target

Ashes in what takes too long to escape a mouth

Small coffin with big nails

It’s all mist longing for magic

photo (7)

J.J. Blickstein is a poet and former editor/publisher of Hunger Magazine & Press. Works as freelance copy editor, student and teacher of Chinese internal martial arts, and Tui Na (Accupressure) practice. Does not miss being a stone mason, loves good gin, gardening, herbal medicine, great music, art, film, a warm fire and good eats. Books in print include Barefoot on a Drawing of the Sun (Fish Drum Inc., 2006), a handmade artists’ book/CD collaboration with French painter, Jean-Claude Loubieres, titled Signs/Signe (Paris, France, 2007), Vision of Salt & Water (Bagatela Press, Mexico. 2002). In 2009, as part of a literary contingent, Blickstein journeyed to Cassis, France on a poet exchange and translation project sponsored by the Carmargo Foundation. POEM: Poets on an exchange mission (Fish Drum, Inc. 2009) is the resulting anthology. His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. A new book-length manuscript or two awaits a home. He lives in Woodstock, NY.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s