Crumbling Man, John Garmon

Ineffable, Dave Mehler



Shaving this morning I noticed
Tiny flakes of my face falling off.
I looked down and saw bits of me
Lying like crumbs on the floor.

There were also my thoughts.
They seemed to be disintegrating.
I tried to ignore the changes I felt
But my chest collapsed when I tried

To button my shirt. I was afraid
And the fear itself began to break
Into a shedding of dusty particles.
The last glimpse of my face

In the mirror was of disbelief
As my forehead fell over my eyes
And I heard my breath choking
As my throat turned into crumbs.

Then I became blind in chunks
Of darkness that fell in my mind.
However, I still feel very alive,
Even as I lie here beneath you

As you walk unknowingly over me
In your beautiful completeness.

John Garmon


Review by Jared Pearce

Poetry is, it seems, sometimes the art of the crumb, the flash, the speck that is to come together when viewed, like a stippling or mosaic.  For me this poem is fairly coherent until the end where the complete gets to become beautiful, where the unknowing is full.  For me this sort of reversal is interesting, but I also question it a little: the poem seems to indicate that it’s the fractured and fragmented that, while disappearing, also are aware, earnest, and alive, while the beautiful have it together but is unconscious and, probably, nothing at all.  Does this mean that the crumbling man, while decimated, is, on another level, also complete (in order to create the parts of the poem)?  I’m not sure, but the puzzle seems to get built toward that picture.



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