Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Retired Moonhanger

The Retired Moonhanger

I've unpacked the moon
from her nightboard box
so many times
I've worn out the ribbons
and hung her up
where she couldn't be missed
unless you were 

After a time, however
things loosen. The moon falls.
That paper crackle under the boot
is the crumpled bonesnap of
last night's hopeful crescent,
broken like a shotgun
that has two black eyes for
what it scars 
but fires blind.

So I gave up being
a moon-hanger, years ago.
Now I'm retired--fallen
by the way 
some say-- too tired
to lift that heavy glow
or to reach a sky that high,
but I have gotten by
by being very good at
dodging bullets.

~October 2015

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Images: Illegal Manufacture of Light, 1993, by Jacek Yerka
Little House with Flagpole, Georgia O'Keefe
Fair use via


  1. I love the surreal image in this, and how well it fits with the image by Yerka. I need to check tonight if someone else have taken up the baton and hangs the moon for us...

  2. This is honestly a new favorite, Hedge. It is fantastical yet also vividly palpable-- i love the details of the worn ribbons, those missing it for the tv, and the crackle under the boot-- they make the scene so present. The shotgun is described so well-- the poem feels a bit like a metaphor for living in modern America-- at least red I,e. Gop America -- forgive typos as on phone-- wjere the poor moon seems the idea of something bigger, hopeful, natural-- by that end one feels one could hang by the moon as in hang one's self-- to get back to it and away from those bullets-- really well done. Just love your pics also. Both beautiful and clever. K.

    1. Thank you, k--and no telling how I am warped living here! A great challenge, and a pleasure to write to it.

  3. What a marvelous thought process! I so love how your mind works! Crescent moon bonesnap! You can just hear it!

  4. Things loosen, indeed. Except this tight write which I enjoyed twice:)

  5. This is me, with my chair tipped over on its back, and me staring up at the ceiling wondering how you write such stuff as this. A retired moonhanger?!? That's poetry, and that's singular imagination. The whole thing is inspired, cohesive, crazy, a little bit amusing, and just plain kick-ass. Oh sure, keep holding that bar up over my head and smile benignly to yourself as I jump at it, cos you're just that way, aren't you? ;-)

  6. ps--was reminded, when I read Karin's comment, to say that I love the picture you found, manufacturing light.

    1. Yerka is really good I think, fanciful and surreal without ever being caustic. Thank you Shay, for this, and the other supportive and wonderful comments you have left on my recent poems--I really really appreciate them, coming from you. It means a lot, and I need the warmth they give.It is a struggle sometimes to keep writing. Thank you again.

  7. This is, quite simply, stunning.

  8. Yes, a retired moon hanger...Your description in this is creative brilliance. I love your whole piece, but your last stanza sums up a lot for me in my own life.

  9. I thought of that old quote from the Gospel of St. Thomas -- if you bring out what is inside you, what you bring out will save you; if you fail to bring out what is inside you, what you fail to bring out will destroy you. That's the plight of the moon-hanger I read here. Damned if she does, but failing to do so is an Inferno of a different color. Maybe also Williams, "men die every day for what is not put in poems"? Anyway. The box this moon is produced from sounded like a hope chest to me -- surely there's a dazzling lovemoon in there somewhere -- disrepair of that become "dodging bullets" which is, of course, ghastly.

    1. Thanks, B. You reveal the various organs of this like an MIR scan. Yes, retirement is not all bliss, but after a lifetime of frustrated work, I suppose it is better than the alternative. ;_)

  10. Oh, this is just so smart, so wise, written with a seeming flick of the wrist. I wish I had your art to create such a balanced mix of abstract and normal. It is a wonder to me to read your work.


'We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.#39; ~William Butler Yeats