About Mikels Skele

Poet. Explainer. Foreigner-at-large.

Traces

Sometimes I follow ancient
trailing wrinkles, vague traces
of paths untaken, no use
to anyone now
after all the promises
have spilled out through
careless whim, unforeseen
swirls of hope and fury
all hung up to dry without regard
to logic or poetry

The crones of darkness linger
beneath a pointed finger, no singer,
but a low murmur, a thin skulking
wink of a man

Sometimes I sit in an empty room
with a bell and ring it,
trying to pinpoint the moment
it stops its waning tone.

That’s how a life is

But Memphis ain’t no ‘count

“But Memphis ain’t no ‘count,”
they’ll say. Maybe
what they don’t like
is this: Memphis
don’t go shufflin’ ’round
to the back door
hat in hand.
She just walks right up
to the front,
through the door,
and throws her hat
on the hallway tree,
where it spins a couple of times
before settling in.

Relics

Already obsolete
before we know it
like white-haired gramps
parading hot rods

toys lovingly restored
by the unrestored.

Oleg shines his car
lives in a world of
Naugahyde and
cherry red paint.

Today a barista
poured an exact replica
of a certain mountain
in Japan.

I drank it.
Goodbye to my
dreams of Basho.

A man is in a sphere

A man is in a sphere
all he knows is
what hits the outer membrane
–a series of taps,
bright lights,
red, green, sepia
seeping through

a great shaking
and rumbling pervades,
some rhythmic,
some not

from these scraps
an omniverse
known only
to himself

emerges, like some
great and vast
butterfly, floating
above a sleeping figure.

The fire walkers

The unsuccessful fire walker
steps carefully, judging each footfall
in advance, hitching a shoulder just so
in case elevating a piece of
the body will make the foot weigh less,
stepping forward as fast as possible
so the white-hot coals will have
less time to sear flesh from bone
before starting on the other foot,
tense with reflex, toes gripping
not earth but fire, the screams rending the air
well before the pit’s end.

The successful fire walker
does not.