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Creation and Criticism

ISSN: 2455-9687  

(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal

Devoted to English Language and Literature)

Vol.04, Joint Issue 14 & 15 : July-Oct 2019

Brushing the Stars and Other Poems by Gerard Sarnat

Gerard Sarnat is the author of four critically acclaimed collections- Homeless Chronicles from Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014) and Melting The Ice King (2016). Sarnat is currently working on a possible new sequence tentatively titled, Prisoner Poetry. Gerard has been nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. He can be contacted through his email-


1. Brushing the Stars


Shimmering winter back in Redondo,

frost shadow thawed, unmoored offshore,

I cloud walk on a pair of bouncy new sneakers.

As our sun emerges from the mist, it squints my eyes,

turns crystal into ocean turquoise twilight pink.


Below on the Esplanade trudges a family

whose young lead their matriarch’s Guatemalan

rainbow skirt and blouse. The ten-gallon mustachioed

silent screen patriarch tucks a pearl snap cowboy

shirt over the horizon of his jeans’ paunch.


Beauties in saris bloom like tide-pool moon gardens.


2. Do Not Disturb


— after William Carlos Williams


Perhaps Ter on a road

near the hospital,


his car would be drawn

to the curb. Bill Monroe’s

Heavy Traffic Ahead

on the radio,

fragments jotted in No. 2

pencil under a glowing


jimmied Coke

machine thick with swarms


of everywhere night




worn leather smell, so

much depends on little

red notebooks rummaged

among subway tokens

and tortilla chips, ink

in the blood, a stethoscope.


3. Rooster in the Night No. 2


The shallows in earnest, candles sputter,

burn molecules might fuel extra hours not to be.


Ears ring, cheeks turn pink

imagining my love, imagine me.


She chants the song of her soul these forty-nine days

I sit with the urn, cry stars into her ashen sky.


The valley of shadows disorders time

as I fumble prayer beads.


My thumbs sense a scuffle to take earthly leave,

hurtle away on cinnamon and blue bardo wings.


Funneled through dusk’s gray cocoon melee,

untethered, a radiant silk moth dawns past mourning’s crow.


4. Long ago


Long ago told by his father,

Seek the golden key that will unlock

the door to your soul,

the divine ruler kept predatory eyeteeth

in a rock jar in a monument

soon to be toppled by earthlings

who’ll settle up before dirt settles down

on the tottering despot.


5. And Forgive Me


For hubris

I do while I do, everyone

we betrayed or did not,

because I -- I’m Dad’s son,

because I was born first,

because I just was.


As he left her side,

skittered into the labyrinth at dusk,

Sis asked

on the family’s behalf,

“Why would you take that path?”

which isn’t answered.



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