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winter sunshine through the breakfast window
a pod of whales blowing mists in the bay
draw the curtains tight
must block out the day

coffee mug is dirty
grease is on the walls
and though I’m well past thirty
still have not seen it all

haven’t seen a lady dance
in motel neon lights
haven’t seen a shower of
falling broken kites

haven’t tipped a green canoe
tread water beneath its curve
never lounged with demimondes
drunk gin and lost my nerve

a bird is on the windowsill
suppose he sings to me
I pull my soiled blanket tight
rap the glass pane angrily.

©  Wallace Barker 2013


In “Negative aesthetic”, Wallace Barker presents the reader with a window into the soul of the lonely and disaffected. Musing upon feelings of regret and unfulfillment, the poem draws us into a moment in time where thoughts turn to negativity and introversion. Dark, introspective and desperately seeking something more that this life, Wallace’s words have a power that punch heavily with a minimum of weight, and sparsity of language.

What are your thoughts on this poem by Wallace Barker?