Sonnets to Morpheus ["I know kung fu"]

By John Beer John Beer
“I know kung fu.” It won’t bring back the world.
5:15 a.m.: I wake from another dream,
the same as every dream. A man builds a ship
in my chest. Each of the sailors
carries by her breast a picture of her sister.
The ship is not the image of a ship.
Beyond its sails there are no stars.
The water is only water because it’s black.
5:15 a.m. Perhaps you’ve seen me
practicing my moves in the empty prison yard
and wondered whether you were the dreamer
conjuring me into existence from the bare
desire to caress a phantom ship
and my death the death of your desire.

John Beer, "Sonnets to Morpheus [”I know kung fu.”]" from The Waste Land and Other Poems. Copyright © 2010 by John Beer.  Reprinted by permission of Canarium Books.

Source: The Waste Land and Other Poems (Canarium Books, 2010)

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Poet John Beer

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 John  Beer


A Chicago resident, John Beer is the author of the poetry collection The Waste Land and Other Poems (2010).
Associative and imaginative, his work has been compared to that of John Ashbery. Poet Lewis Warsh wrote that The Waste Land and Other Poems “embraces and distills ‘the bad dream’ and all ‘the muck’ of the recent past, but the momentum of this book is full speed ahead.”
Beer’s criticism has appeared in Verse, the Denver . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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