Sea of Never


Faces shutter too quickly
when bodies pass
on sidewalks and street corners,
in parking lots and rest stops;

their light bounces
through beady eye ports,
like this:
until a crinkly image
penetrates fog,
unfolding as I cognize
another living thing
moving near me.

But one is like another,
is like another,
is like a flick flick flick
with nothing sticking;

I’m lifting my feet,
knees pushing up against
our sun and its moon and stars,

nothing’s moving
forward for never
expect the flicking faces
shuttering through
convex portholes
in a ship deceived by light,
mistaking it for something more.

Continue, ye vessel of wonder,
sail this sea of nothing for never;
otherwise, all is useless
flick flick flicking
never stick stick sticking


32 thoughts on “Sea of Never

  1. Great syntax, man! There’s something about “flicking” and “sticking” that just rolls off the tongue.

  2. Seabell and sparrowsong have said it all. I too, enjoyed this and I’m not usually easy to grab. Your piece grabbed from the beginning and carried me all the way through! I’ve found another favorite!

  3. Awesome how you paired a poem filled with camera related syntax (shuttering, crinkly image) with a photo that appears to be double exposed (or then of a window, capturing both inside and reflection…?). Brought up feelings of watching life though the lens of a camera, the shutter constantly flicking past. I love it!

    1. Thank you. The photo is of reflections in a glass case at an oddities museum. In the background there’s a display of cameras and some people milling about. The shop has things like stuffed two-headed cows and alligator-boys.

  4. I used to walk around downtown Sacramento, California in another life trying to get people to make eye contact with me as they passed in their haze….it was always hard to achieve. I thought of those moments as reading your words. I loved the architecture of this piece, it flowed beautifully. A fantastic write Shawn ~ Rose

  5. I agree with the first comment about “flicking” and “sticking.” That’s what made the poem read like an emotion, two words that come out of the mouth abruptly.

  6. I feel like I’m in a car or looking through someone’s eyes as I read your poetry. I like how your poem pulls me in.

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