From the archives – Poem without adjectives — JB Mulligan


Poem without adjectives

Pity the poem without adjectives
as it staggers through the night.
It wipes the rain from its face
and ponders how to describe
the minds of its generation,
the hands not even the rain has.
The wheelbarrow, the chickens,
are shadows. The sands stretch
in drabness away from the plaque,
from the sneer. The sea of Homer
misses its companion. Aeneus
cannot locate his piety.

The poem lifts a bottle. “Nothing?”
The crash of glass, like a wave.
“I need a fu….”
It groans. “I can’t do it.
I need…. Oh, I need
a drink. And an adjective.”

Its skin shakes. Its eyes totter.
Ahead of it, day leads into day
like the houses in a city
in lines down the streets,
no adjectives there. Emptiness.

It stands on a corner,
waiting for the light
to change from a color
which cannot be said, to….

It sobs. The rain
drums a march
as if from a distance:
the graveyard
where they buried
all the adjectives.

from Autumn Sky Poetry 21 — by JB Mulligan

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim


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