by JD DeHart




Word Bubbles


Travel with me a moment

into a place where our thoughts

become action.  Yes, this sounds like

the introduction to a 60s science fiction

series.  Pardon me.


There are some ideas I wish to

keep secret.  They are my tangle of vines,

grounding me in reality.  Reminding me

that I don’t have to throat punch someone.

All I have to do is smile, listen, nod.

Adjust, move on.


But I love comic books, how

dialogue happens.  The lines are dotted

when the characters whisper, or

the words begin to fade.


I can see in a cloud above

someone’s head, their inner truth.

This might come in handy, but is there

 a way to turn it off?  Ever?




a black line



Take Two


And this is why I love

film.  No one stutters

unless they mean to.  They

represent themselves in the best

take of all.


I am a silent performer.  When

I drive down the road, I belt out music

like a professional.  I wish I

hadn’t told you that.


In my mind, there’s an auditorium.

Figures from my past sit and listen.

Wow, are they impressed.  In my

hypothetical universe, I’ve always got

the perfect line.


How often do I get to enact

it?  Almost never.  Rarely.  Sometimes.


Maybe it’s the audition

that’s worthwhile.  Or maybe one too many

long walks in the woods, meditating

on the structure of stories I would one

day forget.




a black line



In the World


I’m tired of the high-minded voices

I know talking about not being of

the world.


Like, what does that really

mean?  I’m the substance of this known universe.

I have dirt under my nails.  I eat from the ground.


Get used to it.


It’s not that I disagree with their stance

on life, the universe, and a number of ideas.

I’m all for grand philosophizing.

I’m just rooted in this place.  I know where I come

from.  It’s not so bad. 


The earth of the mountains and the concrete

of the urban jungles are full of truth.

Or something like it.


Let it ring like the chiming of the car

behind me that wants me to move on.


I don’t want to move on.  Let me take

in this roadside attraction.  Stop for some

chicken that is so cooked it will kill me.


Now, that’s the world.




a black line



I Want to Be in a Comic Book


From the flashing pages of my youth,

I have wanted to be in a comic book.


I designed my suit, considered my powers

and weapons.  I imagined a damsel in distress.

Even thought of my perfect lair.


On my swing set, I would consider this

universe of my making.


I set about on notebook pages to construct

a story with myself as the heroic center –

but age and time wore these dreams down.


I began to see myself as a character whose

bright intentions were mingled with dark ink.


No one needs to be the hero all the time,

or so I reasoned.


Nevertheless, even today, I sometimes yearn

to see myself as a protagonist in my own story,

written or visual.



a black line


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