Charlie Brice won the 2020 Field Guide Poetry Magazine Poetry Contest and placed third in the 2021 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize. His chapbook, All the Songs Sung (Angel Flight Press), and his fourth poetry collection, The Broad Grin of Eternity (WordTech Editions) arrived in 2021. His poetry has been nominated for the Best of Net Anthology and three times for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta Review, Chiron Review, The Honest Ulsterman, Ibbetson Street, The Paterson Literary Review, Impspired Magazine, and elsewhere.
A MEMORABLE FEAST
La hora se come al ahora.*
Only time walks through our place on Walloon Lake
now, and time eats the now.
We ghosts of time who laughed and lived there,
beheld begonias that hung on the front porch placed
by what was Judy and the blue/crimson rug that we
sloshed on, sprinkled earth on, flaked snow on—
all gone, a memoryscape of a consumed now.
There was the cassoulet I made for Chuck who sat
with me at our kitchen table inspecting a script
I’d written for my big Hollywood dream. That dream
ate me like time swallowed our windows on Walloon Lake.
Still, the fragrance of cannellini and sweet Italian sausage
made the air delectable, air now consumed by time.
Those rooms housed illness and love, laughter and lament,
honor and defeat. The fireplace at the center of our living
space announced crackle of wood enveloped by flames.
How its heat held on, unwilling to cool. Hours spent in its glow
reading Dostoevsky and Dickens, Jim Harrison and Jerry
Dennis, while wind howled and snow blew horizontal across
the frozen lake to form lines in a gelid tome, a tome that
chronicled the memory of our place and its breath-bound glory.
Our walk out to the dock at night to decipher the lake
with its placid midnight secrets was capped by our turn
toward the cabin, its pine walls aglow from red-domed
lamps—a blazing house-sized Chagall that welcomed
our return. Devoured now, as we are all devoured,
by the banquet of time.
*“Time eats the now.” The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz 1957-1987, New Directions, 1990, p.43.