Half Drunk Muse Poetry


The Way Only Things on Fire Can Laugh by William Taylor, Jr.

It will reach the point
where you can imagine nothing else to do
but lie yourself down upon the floor
and ask the gods
for a tiny bit of peace
in between
everything else.
You dare not ask for victory
joy or even happiness,
merely a temporary absence of pain.
A week would be enough, a day,
an hour.
Just time enough to gather strength
to try and make enough sense of things
to carry on.
Yet even as you imagine it
you realize the folly in such a dream.
The world around you burns,
everything and everyone on fire
now and forever.
And you laugh
the way only things on fire can laugh.
You understand you have no right
to ask for peace or anything other
than what there is.
You have no right to ask
for anything.
You have no right to ask.
You have no right.
and yet
just the same
you lie yourself down
and ask.

View bio for William Taylor, Jr. Published in Summer 2004

About HDM

Half Drunk Muse was one of the first poetry ezines. It was founded in 1999 and ceased publication in 2006.

Questions/comments? Email samiller@halfdrunkmuse.com.