Pamela Twining

the sidewalks end, where ghost-filled streets
give way to wilderness clutching at sleeves
where long scratches tear flesh doing battle
with untamed nightmares
unknown and unspoken
not Safe, as the digitally preserved streets of youth
the snow falls

step out, over, across
escape the tendrils grasping infant consciousness
boundaries of thought ignored, broken
time to face the music
strains of forgotten jazz syncopation
experimental notes, notes without names
shared with words, outgrowth of rhythm and rhyme
no definitions, only fish leaping in the upsweep of river
struggling for life and for history; it is time
and the snow falls

cold, lost, no fire, no light
all familiar must be forgotten, undone
to a time before experience stains pure essence
snow falls unending

stark world beyond comfortable illusions
black mountain crags jut beyond chaos below
symphony of awe-filled wall of magic sound
the dance is on fire! the world is on fire!
psychedelic gypsy colors blazing at the heart of creation
every imaginable shade
to cut the fog of passage through the wilderness barrier
the beautiful wall built to keep the Others out
only serving to keep the builders in
afraid now

emboldened escapees dance like cats
each in their own shadow, lightly brushing each other
clawing, rending the fabric of unexamined meanings
prisms breaking light into rainbow angles
illuminating the diamond dusted landscape
sinuous trails of music
calling heart, calling heart
calling mind, conscious thought
calling what was forgotten in the broken mornings of despair
calling down the enemy fantasy, the every fantasy
held tight in the nexus of language and song

pounding feet, whirling arms, snap heads
eye contact and laughter
open to shared visions
music in glassine embrace
translucent and permeable
the baying of the dogs of war
in muffled snowbound streets
are lost in this new clarity
the time has come
the sidewalks end


PAMELA TWINING has traveled the US with her partner, poet Andy Clausen, performing her work in California, Colorado, New York City, Michigan, Wisconsin, Lowell, MA, and places in between. Her work has appeared in Big Scream, Big Hammer, poetrybay, The Café Review, Napalm Health Spa, and Heyday!, among others. With Andy Clausen, she is co-curator of “The Invisible Empires of Beatitude” page at The Museum of American Poetics ( In addition, she is author of three chapbooks, “i have been a river…” “utopians & madmen” and “A Thousand Years of Wanting; the Erotic Poetry of Pamela Twining”.