toll-free call
smart rain
words of color
this day
i write
where am i going?
ain't it plausible?
bed of sand

toll-free call
this is a toll-free
phone call
from anywhere
in the literary world.
we provide information
on literary licenses,
on the latest freedoms of expression,
the newest list of 'hot' phrases,
and our daily updated collection
of cliques.
this toll-free number
is the universal resource
for the budding poet:
anything from where to buy
the fertilizer
to keep that creative blossom blooming,
to the latest pesticides
in order to eliminate
the pests of our creativity.
this number
is a service provided
by the society of free verse
because we believe in freedom
and oppose
the blank verse
of censorship.
please call
and open up the side of yourself
that has never seen
the light of day.

meaningless dribble
flowing from my mind
all over these pages,
soaking in,
and staining
the crisp white
ages play their games
on the stains:
till one day
when those words
might become:
more than i ever thought,
more than i ever wrote.

smart rain

the falling rain
gives new ideas to my brain.

I think
That all of the 'Masterpieces'
And 'Classics' of the world
Should be unfinished.
For the truly magnificent works
Are those which can lead
To people running wild
With their imaginations.
These works
Would be returned to
Again and again,
And each time
A new detail
Would strike the reader,
And the ending would change
In their imagination.

words of color
I can pour out
these colored words
from inside of me,
but will there ever be
that one poem
or set of poetry
that finds a way of escape
from my heart,
and when it reaches the page
is able to evoke the same feelings
that originally coursed through me?

Looking through
all that I have written
I wonder
whether any of it
can make sense
to anyone outside of my shoes,
and whether
if it makes sense,
does it make an impression
or is it no big deal?

this day
Let me write these words
May 20, 1991,
and let them have meaning.

Will they have meaning
or will the words
have changed
and lost their symbolism?

whether I am a part of poetry,
poetry is a part of me.
through this medium
I can express the feelings
which I hold inside
and convey the words
I mumble only to myself.
even to put the words on paper
helps me,
knowing that I have tried to share,
and whether or not
my poems are read
is secondary to my efforts
to relieve myself of selfishness.

i write
i cannot write,
i do not write,
i wish to write,
i want to write,
i can usually write,
i hope to write,
i wish to learn to write,
i will try to write,
i wish to share what i write.

where am i going?
i just finished
writing a poem
about brown paper bags.
what does one do for an encore?
isn't life complete
when you step down to a level
where you are concerned
about the storage
of your lunch?
what can be more simple
then that lunch bag?
it is not the meaning of life,
nor is it love,
it is just a bag
in which i can stuff the lunch
which i'll end up trying to trade
because it is only a lunch,
and not life,
and not love.
and now,
after writing two poems
about lunch bags,
what do i do next,
an ode to juice boxes?

ain't it plausible?
i have a story
which is very believable.
it is filled
with credible characters,
plausible situations,
and convincing action.
it is very likely
that this story
will prove to be persuasive.
it is a reasonable bet
that any rational person
could see it as feasible,
entirely conceivable,
and absolutely possible.
if what i claim
is not justifiable,
it will be acceptable
that if in your logic
you decide that i am not
of sound mind
nor of sensible spirit,
to make my story

so, i might as well
not start
my story.

bed of sand
if i could lay
a set of words
on a bed of sand,
placing them
in their intricate patterns
until i had
a patio
shimmering in the sun,
would there be feet
which would walk
upon those words?
would there be people
to see their splendor?

my lines of poetr...
never finish complet...
where there were once fresh ide...
there are only partial word...
if i could finis...
each and every lin...
then i could have somethi...
to hold up and call mi...
but i am left holdi...
the bare skin of drea...
that never bloo...
the husks of seed...
that never sprou...
and the broken word...
of my broken imaginat...
total lifespan 17:01:20
flag burning
wilted rosepetals

American Freak Show. Copyright © 1991 by Matte Elsbernd. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission.