Two poems by Dawn Bratton




Sweet Oblivion

Sweet, sweet Oblivion, master and creator of my fate
it is you I am seeking, it is you who has been seeking me
it is you I have been communing with for a lifetime

it is your gentle creative blackness from which I come
you are what me and the golden poppy have in common
you are the arbiter of all life and all suffering

you are a giant stately procession of clouds in the sky
you are Henry VIII as he’s taught to little school children in England
so why should I make enemies with the spider?

you are great Judge who refuses to pass judgment on no one
into the pot, mix it again in Oblivion
oh, sweet Oblivion, great eternal cosmic stew of nothing

my thoughts come from there and they’ll return there too
but first one landed on the page and now you’re having it
(poet of the future, be somewhere right now in Oblivion ironically laughing

I love you and we’ve both known it forever)
my entire life has been a bad excuse for this moment
in which I love every single infinity of existence

minute bacteria eating my intestines, here I salute you
don’t take it personally later when I try to kill you
I won’t take it personally in the end when you kill me instead

Song of Oblivion, are these the words that you give me?
I hear your rhythm pat, pat, pattering steady as raindrops
beauty arising from indescribable rhythm

every song I write is with you envisioned
oh, sweet Oblivion, the bridegroom I rejoin every evening
I seek you eternally in my waking and dreaming

words don’t do justice to such utter blankness
I only went away so I could return in this moment
eternal as waves beating on seashore in ocean

I am earth imbued with 33-yr-human-consciousness
does every poetess need someone to believe her?
you who holds this, I love you, male or female

sunshine falls like golden raisins leaking out of eyes of eternity
does Buddha help at all in his garden statue wisdom?
maybe mother Mary adorned with shells of seastrand

barnacled as any pre-Christian dread of Poseidon
wooden David disintegrates on the winds of Oblivion
Michelangelo, does your shade feel vindicated in the slightest?

Utter freedom dissolving away into non-existence
I wish I had died yesterday or would be born tomorrow
For until I get there, I know I’ll never be peaceful

The truth is I’ve lived all this before and you know it
and in the moment you know it, eternity ripples—
it’s the waves that always make something in darkness


Krishna’s Mouth

Borges wrote beautifully about going blind so I love him
because I have convinced myself I am going blind
And into this Darkness where I go I descend slowly
past the veil
past the blanket of daily existence recurring
into a darkness of unknown
my un-seeing eye

recall the five senses into oblivion
into Krishna’s mouth we fall spiraling
when you go blind, you see nothing
when you’re born, you be everything
when you die, you give everything
when your dead, you do nothing
when you’ve lived, you’ve left nothing undone

I blindfold myself and walk around
accepting my death early
living around inside it, in surrender

who will write my poems?
will you?
I’ll send them by sweet nothings if you’re listening
and thank you for your hands

close at your back
is the space cloaked in blindness
where you’re already dead
in infinite peace in oblivion
the dream of endless dreams
you know how much you love to dream
in that constellation of dreams

I’m surrounded on every side by my death.
It’s my prehistory, my destiny, my nightly comfort.
Around the spotlight of five senses ratioed I call my life
I go stumbling
am already blind
You see?

But who will write my poems
when I’m blind
is not my problem
where I grope
out of a dream
into a dream


About the Author

Dawn Bratton lives in the Bay Area and writes poetry that explores myth, death, perception, sense & synesthesia, and the nature of experienced reality. She volunteers for WordSwell Foundation, a literary organization based in Oakland, CA. Her work is forthcoming in The Opiate, Oracle, and Matter, and has recently appeared in The Metaworker, Global Poemic, and Disquiet Arts, among others.