This cigarette
is a sweet blaspheme whose retribution might be death.
I hear her singing with neon luminescence
in the apartment across the way,
unwinding rhapsody, reverberating hellfire,
the last gasp of nocturnal mania
before the sunrise.

A line,
“Oh, I slipped on the dock
and busted my head.
I woke up with Johnny
between my legs,”
fills me with corruptive laughter.
A vulgar muse hangs
between my thighs
so, as the milky sunlight creeps up the sky,
I sing to my neighbor
this reply:

“Johnny’s got nothing
on this guy here.
By the time I’m done with you,
you’ll be in tears.”

Magmatic blush and silly-dumb smile
as we lock eyes from our windows,
both of us nubile and half-naked
in the virgin-dawn light.
Two blue birds in a cherry tree,
preening and singing,
carry their carnal knowledge
with grace.

This spring morning,
I feel my heart lifting
like the sun that never grows weary
of stretching its long-limbed rays
across the amazed gasp
of space.

+

The beginning of Daniel Senser’s poetic career coincided with his initial descent into madness. He made a vow that he would write so that someone in need would find his poems and feel liberated by them, as so many poets did for him. The real challenge, however, was in liberating himself. Much has been accomplished in that regard, and he believes it shows in his poetry.