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Poem: "A Psychological Asana" at "Bourgeon"

Getting multiple poems placed in a single publication is rare for me. Usually, the magazine or website takes one piece and I'm happy enough to see that single one find a home. But I felt especially pleased when Bourgeon, an online literary project of the nonprofit organization Day Eight, took everything I'd sent. Four poems: "A Psychological Asana," "To Be or Not to Be on Ganymede," "Afterwards," and "The Hollow Vessel." Below is the first (which are actually all part of a larger series). Head on over to to read the other three.

A Psychological Asana

For today, or maybe even an hour, or no longer than the time it takes to read this poem, put aside “profession” as another word for “persona.” Stick your naked hand in the chamber pot of your identity and swish around the contents, though they be old. It’s okay to be afraid, to be thoroughly aghast. Note what sticks and what repulses. You’ll have time to scrub the sludge off at the end. Do not retreat to the injustices of childhood. Do not splash around like this is a game. Reach to the bottom, stretch into the cold until you’ve made contact with what lies down below. You may need to be elbow-deep in order to press your hand down flat. Once that’s done, let the contents settle. See if you can withdraw your arm without rippling the surface. Watch the muck drip from your fingers, plink, plink, plunk. Take a breath: what stinks is what’s ripe as well as what’s rotten. Shake hands with the very next person you meet as if to say…

First published in Bourgeon on May 15, 2023. Image courtesy of Beinahegut, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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