Monday, March 30, 2009


For Jimmy R.J. LeBlond In the end, his deep black coat touched white, muzzle forlorn, peppered with old man eyebrows that dipped and arched when you spoke to him; they said volumes despite his blindness creeping in around slow deaf ears. His right hip gave him a slight limp, nails clattering against linoleum in fits and starts. He lay at my Pop’s feet chest rising with ease, his breath no less faithful than his heart, moaning in canine dreams; back leg twitching wild. I wondered from across the room if he was off somewhere in his youth walking the Appalachian Trail with Pop after Viet Nam; or taking the canoe’s helm down the mighty Mississippi in the heart of summer; or drenched with rain, tired from long treks on broken highways standing guard while his best friend lay in his bedroll in the dark night’s ditch. Napoleon cried out harshly, legs wracked the air as if in seizure. My Pop’s face sank deeply, shoulders slumping almost imperceptibly, knowing someday this old man would have to go down by his hand, that suffering in this way was never an option for the only man that understood him. He reached down placing his hand on the dog’s chest, “Face,” he said softly. The dog’s shutter eased back to dreaming, seizure exiting with a whimper and then still into even breathing, in to what we had always known. It was the first time I saw my father cry.
Aleathia Drehmer 2009
Winning poem in contest held by Organic Glass 3/09

The Plague of Frogs

Dime size frogs construct pyramids at my doorstep, hundreds clamoring to be the triumphant piece, the eye to the heavens. This breathing swarm comes to me in the shallow hours of the morning after night rains soak the bog, and drive them to dry. They make me vigilant about my giant steps, wary of crushing their tiny bodies into blotted stains, red and brown, toothpick bones splayed out in post-mortem viewing. My daughter will hear the dirge from the water, and crouch down close to the earth, inspecting death is her proclivity, wrapping her mind around its permanence, her art. The hollow of my heart wants to alleviate the guilt of creating a sadness that will strike its mark upon her face somewhere between home and grandfather’s house, producing tears of crocodile proportions, viable stains I cannot undo.
Aleathia Drehmer 2007
Published by Full of Crow 2/09

Two sides of the coin

Box elder bugs crawling on the armchair, tiny black legs tap Morse code in response to the tamper and grind at the front of the café, while large-bodied women cackle around the high pitched trill of the thin. Two lovers study French across laptops; she dressed as a pirate and he with her hat akimbo across his well shaped head; Old women revisit the darkness that lives in their youth, finding some shelter in each other. In the bathroom, noises slip through the walls and ceiling, under the cracks in the door, up through the toilet as a vibration, a tremble that drives me until I am consumed completely as Hyde took Jekyll, and only traces of the original remain. The second side of me emerges. The face that hides under manners, gaiety and social ebulliences. I emerge transformed into the universe just as it was before. No one takes notice. I am invisible, imperceptible, intangible. Forces beyond any of our control, catches the door wide. I step into the wind and disappear.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Full of Crow 2/09

An Anchor Around Your Free Thoughts

We walk hand in hand on the forest trail, I can feel your thoughts pulsating through your bony fingers interlaced between mine, amassing joy at the touch of something pure. There are tortuous moments of silence chiseling our bodies apart as they navigate the uneven ground, toes stepping over rising roots that look like grandmother’s arms, stones erupting, pushing away the layers of lost life making homes for tiny legged potato beetles. Your fingers unravel from mine, your arm twisting taut behind you, shoulder blade cutting through your flesh as you move forward three steps ahead, my shyness an anchor around your free thoughts, and as your hand breaks from mine I am showered with the vision of skin stranding into silk ribbons hung on the hooks of your desire. You find a sharp stick, hold it to your eyes for inspection, lips moving silently, your mind circumnavigating a world I cannot see. You begin writing our poem into the moist earth, with its hidden fears, its death, its seed of life, its fragility, with sweeping arcs and dominating angles, standing at first and then falling close to the words you cannot take with you.
Aleathia Drehmer 2007
Published by Full of Crow 2/09

Stewart Street

We sit on the front porch of your three-story apartment building, the wooden planks unkempt with edges splintering and nails driven up through rotted holes leaving empty spaces. You smoke your non-filtered cigarette, though not the same brand I remember from childhood, the smell less aromatic. It is somehow stale and crumbling like the moments passing slowly between our shoulders. Both of us watch my child, with her sun lightened, blonde streaks curling around her face. She is cherubic and fresh sitting in the grass digging for treasure in the dark earth with an old stick, looking up at us with untamed innocence. I think about all the things I want to say that I won’t ever have the courage to, or be able to find words good enough to bear the weight of their meanings. So we talk about poems and seasonable weather and lean only close enough to hear each other. You turn your head to tell me something important and I am lost in the sunset reflected off your glasses, heart beating faster than it should, unsure of where we go from here.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by 13 Miles from Cleveland 2/09

Standing amongst the recycling

In tendrils of cigarette smoke, listening to night sounds-- crickets and moon birds, we hear the rustling leaves moved by winds in far off storms, the candle flickering as you leave it. Sweet, delicate memories wan in the youth you somehow try to dispel under the guise of advancing age and a fortitude we cannot be sure we really have. You talk about love that never takes its grace, how the waiting over a decade for its return to soften heartbreak’s edges doesn’t come. You understand he can never be the man to make us whole. And in this silence, we face each other briefly, drunk and with the knowledge that the tragedies witnessed in our collective lives could have never been, that we might not have had to spend them dreaming or wanting or waiting for an easiness to find its way to the lines on our faces, into the creases of our quiet, longing moments. The pans clank in the kitchen with familiar sounds, you mumbling to yourself like the old days, trying to busy notions from your mind; to strike out those sad remembrances you know need putting back in the cabinet. I stand here small and alone, watch the light dance off the Windex bottle, wishing I could wipe away the past without leaving evident streaks of knowing.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Rusty Truck Zine 1/09

Instead of Fireworks

She twirls on the grass with arms out, a human helicopter waiting to take flight in a dress the color of latent spring, feet bare and lost in the long blades. Her toothless grin pulls open the clouded sky as she tumbles to the ground, dizzy and laughing like a child should, despite burdens too big for her narrow shoulders. She lies there in misted, summer rain with apple cheeks and unfiltered giggles rising up to where the rockets would be, if the night would only show her face. We get caught smiling at one another watching her coil the long, plastic snake into the antiquated birdbath standing crooked beneath your living room window. Her fingers run over the edges of its Italian design, crevices inhabited with algae and rainwater, trying to grasp the tail without making ripples, trying to catch one of us off guard. I gasp when she snaps the snake, sprays us with water. Her smile is a devilish infection as she looks for your approval and you laugh like you didn’t remember joy existed— head back, eyes closed laughing.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Rusty Truck Zine 1/09

Casaubon and Amparo

One day, she plants a great tree in the image of man, culled tiny brown seeds taken from cored bounties leftover, pies baked and eaten warm. She moves fingers through rich soil, spayed earth moist and gathering under nails; places each polished hope, gingerly. Nestled in the corner, guarded by old weathered legs, crossed keepers of the rains and snows and sun-dappled summers. Starling's golden tritons between blacktop brambles all gorging till beaks come away berry-stained and full. She waters his roots with her purple can, speaks to him in kind while trimming long blades with shears, laughing at herself, to him, and blushes cheeks into apples. She drips ruby nectar down his throat stolen from the hummer's bell feeder when his branches begin, buds curling out, and iridescent bodies swirl around her, new northern lights. When he comes to her strong and constant, she lies beneath him, rusty fingers reach to touch her face, gold tears floating in the brush of reality. And she reads him volumes of Poe and Pound, questions the universe and space, knowing he won't ever answer her the truth, but attempt every time. He is there when seasons turn, their heart growing, in him and he never pushes her back or away, and she will smile, one day.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Shoots and Vines 12/08

The Silenced Fan

It is the crest of 5am when rough-throated garbles of the rooster’s crow weakly filter up through a minted dawn on the day of the Lord. Sparrows call the light no one else can see, tell relatives on the crisp pointed maples and heady oaks about the slithering bounty, silver trails lead from a nocturnal feeding on the tender folded flowers in the bean patch. House finches and mourning doves heed the tale, twitter then coo in swirled feathers, the dawn lighting iridescent wings that hover over fat, homeless snails inching their getaway by the nights last true moments. Across the yard where new highway construction has halted, shadowed machines on the banks lumber as ancient beasts, iron dinosaurs with heads rising above red-tipped leaves chilled by the solemn beginning of autumn’s breath. The rooster calls again and brings notice to the shimmer through the blinds, a burning white disc whose beams trick the old cock into dreams laced with coming dawn and cracked corn spread around the dirt. My fingers split the dusty slats to see the moon smile, hear her whisper your name like a mantra until it finds its way between the fan blades gently turning as if lifted by wind. It coaxes me to the shelter of quilted covers where warm child limbs ease me back to sleep.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by The Poetry Warrior, Issue 3, 2/09


There is a hole in her bathing suit, a small window of skin, a great oval of downy hairs and nerves perfectly encased in tropical wanderings as she reclines over a red and pink striped towel as if it were a plump tongue rolled out to taste the essence of summer. It is evening and the sun has taken its leave towards the West, setting on great men left behind in the wake of changing tides, while I lie here soaked in my favorite potion of azure skies with clouds shearing each other, above and below the belt, in real time. The sound of her breath is even and sweet against the early night, filled with bird chatter and airplanes writing their sorrows into the blue like scars, keeps me in a state of flux. The soft lapping of pool water against the tiles and the last of the day’s sun moving across the white fence, seal me into a haunting peacefulness. This moment is viable. I watch the world do what it always does regardless of my existence, despite my flesh laid out on the ground as an offering to false gods of abundance and grace. I could suffer in this sliver of time gladly, as it is somehow more perfect than all the rest.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by The Poetry Warrior, Issue 3, 2/09

I am not one

I become painfully aware
of this solitary existence
as the crust of three-day old snow
crunches underfoot, the sound
in decibels, almost deafening.
Boots invade the criss-cross markings
pledged by rabbits, bits of fur and excrement
strewn on a trail not meant for humans.
Today, I am not one, but brethren
of the hare, seekers of green.
Fallen Sumac berries burst up
under light snow, red confetti
for eating in lean, gray months,
pawed and nuzzled with ears pricked
and pink eyes frightened wide.
The mind succumbs to darkness,
its thick shroud pulled close to mouth,
covering steam created by inner workings. Fires dampen easily
if not for chilled bone friction
that keeps legs moving.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Gloom Cupboard 2/09 Issue 77