Come Back & Loom

Come Back

I will paint you over.
I will revise each line.
I’ll stand immersed in the dregs without a coat
of stones, an anchor to be tied on.
I will face this place, what it’s done, what’s
been done in return, & stare steadfast.

Oh. I see. The lungs may swell like sick starfish,
the heart stall twisted by that corrosion:
Memory, memory…

So this is how a head comes off: mine field,
hand grenade, not much clear about the business
except perhaps later after the smoke, the maintenance
crew passes…

Dirty job, dirty, but I suppose, like priests,
they are used to that sort of thing. I suppose, also,
this is where paintings come from, arriving
denatured, distilled for a spell.

We who ask why, knee-deep in ashes, know
the come-back is inevitable, but still can’t
help asking
as the flames whisper

Take care, take care





Feel the whoop & weave, lines
never closing only
meeting another to open
out in the folds:  windows
being made & our lives
are such too between
such things of time as
Polio, custody battles,
drug tips & visions polished
despite the haze…
How jagged, how straight now,
& then a loop running through
the torment to pull this design
closer towards its purpose,
though never completed,
attainment simply in the effort
with occasionally, (how miraculous),
fingers beating ease


Projected Letters is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the best new and established writing from around the world.


Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer. Since the 1990s he's been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online. He is also grateful to have managed to keep various day jobs for the Health Insurance. Poetry on the Line, Stephen Mead: