Autobiography of Fever I.

by John Sibley Williams

John Sibley Williams

OK, so
the metaphor is truth—

Its steps are not those
leaving wet, scattered marks
to follow or erase
the delicate scars of growing

When it shifts
who seeks elsewhere an equal
and opposite reaction

who expects a migration
of origami birds

who expects to touch
the blood and rust
of broken buildings

the blood and rust
of Japanese maple?

This city I love can be
a soulless city.
Even peace can be ugly.
This need to de-
and re-
is easier
when the pieces don’t fit.

Yet such a simple thing
as nothing—
without cohort
or crime—
shakes the entire world

is the grease of the engine

is the box and what I place in the box.

I place everything in the box
and learn the tough love of return.

I want to learn like a tree,
know the silence of my voice.

When I shift
I want the space to remain

I want to write nothing
but still mean

be a city
in the same way
I can never be a city

be the grease and noise and heart and waste of the engine.

I want to always be afraid that all things unplanted
still glisten.

Autobiography of Fever, chapbook

John Sibley Williams's picture

John Sibley Williams is the author of six chapbooks, winner of the HEART Poetry Award, and finalist for the Pushcart and Rumi Poetry Prizes. He has served as Acquisitions Manager of Ooligan Press and Publicist for Three Muses Press and holds an MFA in Creative Writing and MA in Book Publishing. Some of his over 200 previous or upcoming publications include: The Evansville Review, RHINO, Rosebud, Ellipsis, Flint Hills Review, and Poetry Quarterly.

Last updated September 08, 2011