Friday Poetry with James Goertel: You Are There and She Who Is Not Here

Friday Poetry with James Goertel: You Are There and She Who Is Not Here

YOU ARE THERE and SHE WHO IS NOT HERE from James Goertel’s new poetry collection, Under The Same Moon, consult the compass of the heart in an effort to locate love.

Friday Poetry with James Goertel You Are There and She Who Is Not Here

Aphrodite, a classical image of youthful female beauty in Western art.

YOU ARE THEREThis is all new.
I wake up, consult the mirror
Beyond the bed to discover
It too has no explanation
For these dreams insinuating themselves

As memories upon a mind
Which has no recall of ever having met you.

You are there.
Your perfume where self-actualization
Splashes in a rain puddle like a lovesick boy
Acting out in the wake of his first crush.

You are there.
Your smile where analytical thought
Once rested, rationalizing
The pedestrian nature of love in late life.

You are there.
Your kiss where chapped, penciled lips
Once drew without desire
The arid breath of discarded, dried roses.

You are there.
Your passion where poetry
Once flowed athirst
For a love to transpose the heart’s language.

This is all new.
I go to sleep, consult the mirage
Beyond the bed to discover
It too has no explanation
For these dreams lying in wait, but awake
In memories within a mind
Which has no call to recall having ever met you,


Full moon, pull these teeth from my mouth.
My smile is only for her, she who is not here;
Abandon your sway over my flesh-felt desires,

I have no need for your pressure upon the tides
ebbing and falling beneath this sun-singed skin.
I cannot wade these red oceans flushing my face,
their salt too pure and stinging my wounded heart.


James Goertel. Under The Same Moon

James Goertel. Under The Same Moon


View Comments (6)
  • Congratulations, James. Every Friday, a perfect poem… one of the best moments of the day!

  • Abigail

    My Fridays and weekends wouldn’t be the same without Goertel poems. Thanks for sharing.

  • Isabel – you are so kind! Thank you!!

  • Abigail – I am pleased you like what you are finding here at ‘Under the Same Moon’ – Thank you and kind regards.

  • Love this magazine. Full of marvelous people, artists, poets… full of marvelous colaborators. Jenean C. Gilstrap and… James Goertel poetry! Yes, we are under the same Moon… Thanks for your poems, James.

  • And thank you, Isadora – love your passion!!!


Born in North Dakota, James Goertel spent twenty years working in television for ABC, NBC, and ESPN, among many others in the U.S. He currently teaches writing at Penn State. Carry Each His Burden (2011) was his fiction debut. Each Year an Anthem (2012) was his poetry debut. With No Need for a Name (2012) and Self Portrait (2013) are his follow-up collections. His debut novel Let the Power Fall will be published in 2014.

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