Tuesday Poetry with James Goertel: Pensées and Existential

Tuesday Poetry with James Goertel: Pensées and Existential

PENSÉES and EXISTENTIAL from James Goertel’s new poetry collection, Under The Same Moon, reach into the gray spaces between the living and the dead.

Tuesday Poetry with James Goertel Pensées and Existential

Portrait of C. Baudelaire by Gustave Courbet, 1848


Arrangements –
flowers for the dead,
marriages for the living

and the night
looks the same on either side

for a congregation
of restless souls on either side –

a communion
of flesh, not flesh;
of form, not form –

where the living
seek expression
beyond the black and blue
of skin, bruised
by a musique concrète
sung from lungs
in bellows, tongues, and howls
to a moon,

toward a Heaven
of abstract expressionism
painted with angel song, dogma,
and the vows
of all those dearly departed
and happily married to an eternity
with its dull but soothing hum
begun beneath the ground

where lilies lie in wait
beneath the feet
of those extant but mortal,
to bloom, to wilt,
to die, and decay
until they bloom again
in a symbolic arrangement
between the living and the dead.


Existing only in your presence
As I do,
I find on days when you leave me
I sit in the abyss
And count the dead until you arrive,
Take my cold hand
And pull me back up among the living,
None of whom I can see
For they are nothing to me, though I am
Less than nothing without you.


James Goertel. Under The Same Moon

James Goertel. Under The Same Moon


View Comments (3)
  • As every Tuesday, as every Friday, thanks for sharing so awesome poems. Full of human passions. Congratulations, James

  • Ayax

    Agree. Tuesday and Friday with James Goertel are better

  • James Goertel

    My gratitude to Yareah Magazine for this wonderful forum!


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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