Ghost Town Sonnet

Ripped apart and tossed into a landfill the town is dead
now a mere shadow of the place it used to be before
the combined forces of weather and neglect destroyed it from
within but I have yet to figure out how I might leave
and so I laze here on my morning porch barely dressed
with little hope that the future could be any better one day
soon I will hobble from chair to wheelchair crooked in my
posture adrift in a circling current of immaterial concepts
unable to hook themselves to the explicit layering of language
waiting for the lightning flash of deliverance a storm that
rises in autumn and carries me through to winter ahead is
a beach on a frozen ocean where I collapse before
awakening somewhere beyond the boundary wrapped in
silk awed by the quality of the silence inside of this house.

The Father the Jazzman

Head shaking nervously
hands convulsing of their own accord
advancing along a line sinuously graceful
a threaded piano line ice-cold jazz
reflecting from a metal surface

wood had been oiled to keep out the water
but all he remembers is his father’s cigarette
unfiltered the smoke curling blue
hands shaping now to make a circle
the pulsing severity of an upright bass

the echo of birds from a magnolia tree
darkness re-expressed as green
a reinvigoration of the idea of city
hands trembling nervously
but a drumbeat will carry the heart past despair.

Paul Ilechko is a British/American poet. Born in South Yorkshire, he now lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ. His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including The Night Heron Barks, Louisiana Literature, Iron Horse Literary Review, Sleet Magazine, and The Inflectionist Review. His first album, Meeting Points, was released in 2021.