By Robert Wynne

Hello Campers! Welcome to your post-holiday invented form missive. I’m not going to spend a long time discussing this next form, because it’s fairly self-explanatory. It’s called a Lyricrostic, and it is simply an Acrostic poem which uses a song lyric excerpt as the text which adorns the left margin vertically. I wrote one of these years ago with a quote from an apocalyptic R.E.M. song, and in the past 2 weeks I’ve written 2 more, both of which are included below. I try to use the excerpted quote, and the original song itself, as a trigger and to inform the poem during the writing process. I did not listen to the songs while writing these poems, but you may want to do that. As with all acrostics, I found myself altering my normal syntax and diction to get to the letter at the start of the next line. My line breaks were impacted as well. All in all, I find poems with strict expectations like this make me work harder at writing, and that’s a good thing. These poems are also each about twice as long as my typical work, and that made me have to stretch some new muscles. I hope you enjoy them, and if anyone’s out there, please post the names of the songs in the comments (using a No. 2 pencil, of course).


Indigo floods the horizon like ink

Halving the whole world with
A single, long stroke.
Viciously, all that beauty
Emanates from so far above,

Stranding us down here
Quivering with our guns
Under cool pillows
And words cocked
Nervously in dry mouths.
Doorknobs are such teases.
Every window promises a new
Reality just out of reach
Even as hands press against
Dull, smooth glass.

Maybe it’s my fault.
Yesterday I cleaned my windshield

Right before it rained, so
Everyone can see where
Small pieces of sky have dried
Into scattered watermarks,
Smudges on this lens
That filters the road ahead.
Another dusk announces itself
Now as I turn into our driveway,
Cautious of the roadrunner
Emerging from the bushes

For a quick survey of the scene.
Only a small part of me
Really believes there must be

A coyote around here somewhere,

Perilously balancing a boulder
On the edge of a high cliff. Still,
Certain that this clever bird
Knows the wilds of the cul-de-sac,
Especially at twilight, I retreat
To the house where we hide in bed
From bill collectors, staff meetings,
Un-used turn signals and
Leering time-share salesmen.

Often as a child I would dream of
Flight, fleeing this flat plane even

Momentarily and soaring
Up to where familiar things seem
Mercifully miniscule, Hot Wheels
Blurring together on streets
Looping into black ribbons
Entangled on the earth like
Some great bow. Now I sleep

So soundly I don’t even
Usually remember
Cuddling up to the dog so often
Huddled between us.

Are dreams promises to ourselves
Repeated like lost litanies
Every night? It’s no wonder

People fear falling, fighting
Righteously against gravity
Only to once more be
Marooned here looking up.
I pull my wife closer, keep us
Suspended on this mattress,
Edge us away from the precipice
Signifying yet another morning.


Even the kingdom of our yard
Vilifies resolutions,
Each leaf curling
Rigidly against the chill
Yawn of the winter wind.

Year after passing year
Eaves sag in honor of gravity
And piles of our belongings
Rise up like offerings

Intended to appease
Small gods: commerce,

Grief, defense, interior.
Equating such faith
To youth is astute,
Though possessions accumulate
In a slow, steady stream.
Never underestimate
Good old-fashioned

Selfishness. My favorite
Humpty-Dumpty t-shirt
Only fits until fall.
Right now I’m hoarding
This bowl of queso,
Eight bottles of imperial
Rye double IPA, and three

Never-opened Twinkies.
Ever ask yourself why
Vacations make you
Even more tired?
Remember to breathe

Slowly between
Each bite, savor
Every single flavor
Melting across your tongue.

Take one item
Off the great stack of stuff.

Find a use for it, or finally
Inter it to the trash. Repeat.
Need is an imagined thing.
Desire drives industry

The same way calendars
Heap day after day upon us,
Easily feigning order by fixing

Time in each little box.
I want to learn to love
Meaning in larger doses,
Enjoy moments in process.