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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press


By: Everett Roberts

I’ve discovered that There is no revelation

Learning is seldom something Not mothered in the marrow; it’s how

One willingly accepts understanding comes from suffering.

I once believed man A body’s work and talents

Could dictate his future, Alter the earth, impress upon the air

and lay out the plans. Whirling the sling

All I want is To slay the giant

tangled in a thicket I may yet build a temple

Forty cubits out of reach Atop a mountain of corpses.

Some may find wisdom without pain, but I don’t believe it.


Everett Roberts, 33, is a polyglot technical writer, editor, and former North Korea sanctions violations investigator living in Washington, DC. His work has appeared in Oberon Poetry Magazine, Griffel, The Write Launch, and Beyond Words Literary Magazine, and he is currently working on a book of poetry and a short story collection.

Behind the Scenes:

I remember the first time I saw a cleave poem: Matthew Minicucci’s impossibly beautiful “Shield”, in Poetry Magazine’s March 2020 issue. I remember most how I amazed I was at the form itself, at how meanings changed depending on whether I read horizontally or vertically.

Cleave poems transmute simple and declarative into something entirely new—and I’ve begun applying this form to characters from old myths and Bible stories to reacquaint myself with them, and in some cases have discovered entirely new characters hidden in the old stories I thought I knew.

I love the form because a cleave captures a paradox with a structure as neat as Euclidean geometry. Two columns, and the shared line between them. A third, combined reading of the two columns like the hypotenuse of a right triangle, simple and clean, yet buzzing with implication.

Some may find wisdom without pain, but I don’t believe it.


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