“Observing Shapes of Judgement in the Sky,” a new poem by Brian Sheffield

Sheffield experiments with blatantly disrespecting institutional norms and how we interact with them. This new work challenges hierarchies both in heaven and on earth.


“Observing Shapes of Judgement in the Sky”

A small library of rain peers over the shadowed
box of angled clouds.

Not one master can fit in this canister
of shaved fists. Oh carcass of small sounds,

whose entropic weight is a discordant whisper
and a dance — I watched you
flip the blind railings over a procession of children in mud.

Your eyes were gleed at the sight of the splintered bones
and your fingers dreamed of invisible things
that crawl into the body and let free the ghost that howls there.

Fear not, sinister spirit — it is not you
these angels are after. Rather, it is
the stranger factors that follow you.

the spring of summer falls faster than winter’s whispering beard,
which still hangs above the geriatric earth,
shivering despite the heated blankets which surround it.

Shhhh, sweet thing.
When death comes to you, like a letter you don’t want,
the grass will become a nice cushion
for those falling knees, buckled under
the unbearable lightness of your righteous love.


Brian Sheffield is a performance poet based out of the central coast in California. He is co-founder of Mad Gleam Press, a French-American small press. He is also co-editor of POST(blank) and an editor with the Boukra Collective. He has performed and been published internationally, among predominantly independent circles.

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