C.N.P Poetry 

  • Cathexis Northwest Press

Self-Portrait

By: Benjamin Rose



Chōka


Thinning gold hair

And ramshackle verses scrawled

Half-finished across

The pages of old notebooks

Conspire to disguise

Your noble spirit; although

The Latin tattoos

Are a bit grandiloquent,

And the deathless coil

Of old ho athanatos

Impresses no one

Save old theologians with

Coffeeshop habits

Of wrenching the young stranger’s

Arm in an effort

To find in the breathing mark

And the omicron

Kinder days marked by the Greek

Alphabet than those

Which confront us now. Something,

A something I know

Not what, was sown in the

Sinews of your brain

So fire would dance at the flick

Of your fingertips

And sear half-scriptures stolen

From the divine

On the slab of college-ruled

Prophecies if you

Chose...and for this fact alone

We endure one another.




Envoys


This insecure man,

Meditating on himself

In the mirror, looks

Back at me through leaden eyes

Cold and lifeless with disdain.


But clenched in his jaw,

A malignant smirk buries

Itself from scrutiny.

It is a sickening thing

To confront one’s own Shadow.


I exhaust myself.

What waste, what narcissism,

To drown in a sea

Of dirty glass, questioning

My worth, obscure as I am.





 

Benjamin Rose is a poet born and raised in the D.C. area. His work has appeared in The Dillydoun Review, The Button Eye Review, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Cathexis Northwest Press, and Last Resort Literary Review. He studies creative writing, Arabic, and Islamic civilization at The Catholic University Of America.