George T. Mormann

Category: Culture

Writer’s Block

Stepping into the void
of this old factory
I smell only the dust
that awakes to the clack of my heels.
The rust of use blankets the head
and keeps it warm throughout
a seemingly endless winter.
I am unable to imagine
the ghosts;
the wind has their breath.
It creeps through a checkerboard
of broken windows,
or mountains as I see them
from here,
on the production floor.


Originally posted September 17, 2012

Century of Progress

SNEED-081717-01.JPGGuard o’er the travertine
casting prospectus to sea

For the mariner,
his light

For a rower,
it’s shadow

For the pilot,
a token

From Antica it shall
again be pilfered

And again, promises
to harbor triumph

Comparable Meagerness

She grew up poor.
Her parents laid
off the nanny
when she learned
to feed herself.

For me, nothing
felt as rich as
a hot shower
a year’s wait.

This, she never
could understand
because water
always flowed
warm where she’s from.

Still, we endured
a similar
hunger, making
for sordid

Not Since the Cold War

have we witnessed a curtain over the sun of this magnitude

so put on your smokescreen glasses and redeem yourself for a chance
to win a free grande unicorn frappuccino if you text the eclipse emoji to 122312.

In the case the darkness does not swallow the Earth herself
—erasing her Japanese tattoos —— extinguishing her cheap perfumes—
we’ll go back in the basement and recount our stash
of shampoo and crackers & hide under our childhoods in wait of
the Chosun one’s vessel of Kapitalist repellent

unless an Indiana Jones unearths another Mayan premonition
beneath the ruins of a Borders Christmastime Calendar Kiosk

then we can laugh off the superstition of another kingdom
wrought with fools who swim in blood from the bay of pigs

waiting for Jesus to come

but he always pulls out at the last minute

Polarity of White

From our reflecting pool
the pious will glean
his atheist,
a republican
his democrat,
Her tyrant.
In this same mirror
a ripple lies between our
mutually opposed others,
revealing superficiality
and mere distortions
between our faces,
the color of our sleeves.

As a boy, my reflection
restored the glory
of the Roman Empire,
watching reruns of
Hannibal’s defeat
in the Colosseum,
clanging clay action figures
made in the likenesses
of gladiators.
I squirted ketchup
on the dead ones
before outgrowing the sandbox,
before realizing such toys
had been carved out of slaves.

Later, my reflection wished
to restore the glory
of the British Empire.
He thought the Sun only rose
where the crown shone,
and if it wasn’t for sailing
the horn of Africa, there’d be
no such thing as India Pale Ale.
Besides, he was taught
you’re not a real man
until you shoot an elephant.

Now, I witness my reflection
restore the glory of
the German Empire,
Tibetan peace signs and
Polynesian patio décor.
He lost two fights until
a new furor awakened him.
And nothing beats
a cloudy day like
a long walk into
a more colorful Poland.

I cannot undo his existence,
not because I allow it
to thrive—

because I am the cause
of our polarity.