J.P. Celia


On Coming Upon A Discarded Piano


Had it been discarded there

Among that wood, or did the house, formerly intact and fair,

In which it used to gleam

And gather dust, unbuild itself and scatter, leaving it? If so, no overarching beam

No iron grate, or soft, domestic voice had left its trace

Upon that wild place.


Discarded, as it must have been,

What rare man, shriveled in soul and skin,

Had thrown out,

Perhaps with a final and petty shout,

The beautiful black box that once sent up from ivory teeth

An ethereal voice? Now, underneath


Its golden pedals, shoot the rude weeds

Of an unkempt wood, beads

Of dew bespeckle its legs, and gurgling from the weather-warped lid

Is not music, but the green fingers of a vigorous plant, which, amid

The watchful birds, the trees, looming and strong,

Play nature’s soundless and mysterious song.



No Foul Thing


I rarely contemplate suicide

In the throes

Of a profound sadness. The thoughts subside

When turned to, and will not keep. There’s an odd pleasure, I suppose,

In profundity, however dark, as I know it.

The dissolution of love,

A miscarried infant, for whom candles are lit,

The ruin of scandal; these are too rich to be rid of.


No. It is not even sadness especially

That makes ending oneself rear up like a romance

And spread like mellifluous gold in the mind, not dreadfully,

As it usually does, breaking a joyous trance.

It is often the seemingly inconsiderable things,

Those pestilent little absurdities

That plague one’s commoner hours: the vulgar presences, the kings

Of a coarse culture, the opposite of Demosthenes


In the swinish talk of two teen boys,

The prick of civility denied,

The toys

The irreverent make of the ethereal or grand, like when they tried

The genius of Newton, and flung themselves in awkward suits

To the moon, only to golf there and plant flags.

It’s these petty kinds of pangs; it’s the blasphemy of brutes

That make of Death no foul thing in rags.



J.P. Celia © 2015