Mental Milk on Human Nature’s Eastern Seaboard

“Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse

Colored by the way we all talk about it,
Self-critique tastes good! It’s a living, breathing
Dread, or super weak. In Ladino ballads’

Writhing, things awry (in their plain, old sparkles)
Teach their parents’ envy, or my name isn’t
Paranoia Rex. All my retrocecal
Guidebooks reechoed

Singers’ faces, reached belowground until they
Pulled a suntanned soldier. A vision willing
To be willed is worth but a dot; the public’s
Molotov cocktails’

Evocation. Shooting a gun and crying,
Blessed One, fire’s best friend is a candle; it should
Never die not standing. Of gawsy pogroms’
Nurturing instincts –

Half-goats, playing panpipes – I’m not so sure. I
Wrote embarrassed (not, I regret, in Paris)
Letters to abasement, that woman fond of
Puns. A real doosra,

She’s my heart’s diaspora, Blessed One. Quillworts
Never feel their lack of omniscience or good
Looking. Reproducible glory needs what
Lovers transfigure,

Not deception. Awfully quickly, like re-
Visionist historians, Douglas firs help
Beauty conjure up its blank canvas by my
Kia Sorrento.

Jake Sheff

Jake Sheff is a pediatrician and veteran of the US Air Force. He's married with a daughter and a crazy bulldog. Poems and short stories of Jake’s have been published widely. A full-length collection of formal poetry, “A Kiss to Betray the Universe,” is available from White Violet Press. He also has two chapbooks: “Looting Versailles” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing) and “The Rites of Tires” (SurVision).