Who Am I?

I’m DeMaris.  I’m new here on WordPress.  I’m a poet, an artist, a wife and a mother.

My poetry is all of these things at different times: true, imagined, risky, simple, accessible, heart-wrenching, shocking, erotic, personal and universal.  I hope that these things add up to a few meaningful moments as you read a poem or two.

I write about what happens, and what doesn’t happen.  I often write as if I’m writing characters in a novel.  My inspiration comes from many sources: conversations I overhear, Facebook posts I read, news stories, etc.

I feel the same things you feel:  Joy, guilt, beauty, despair.  I say things many people want to say, but can’t say.  Shouldn’t say.  Need to say.  Won’t say.   I try to use my voice to fill the gaps that we all fall into.

I hope my poems are a pinprick to the ho-hum of your day.  I hope they punch you in the gut if they don’t make you cry.   And I hope they all sound at least a little bit familiar.

~DeMaris

Destinations

Destinations

I promise

I can be trusted

to keep an open mind.

If you recall my stagnant virtue

when we first met

you’ll admit

I have crossed many bridges

into your enlightenment.

Now that I have glimpsed your secret life—

your daily need

to be elsewhere for a while,

I have allowed my own desires

To grow into a similar madness—

necessary imaginings

I would have once suppressed.

I know you do not see me

when you close your eyes

so I look, too, for another,

and I cannot say,

now that I have seen him so clearly

that I will not take his hand

when he offers it—

that I won’t lay myself over him

like a bridge

which will become yours

to cross.

 

DeMaris Gaunt

12-31-12

Blind

Blind


Because you can see
it is clear to you
how important it is
to watch where you’re going—

the curb, the sudden street
six inches below your next step.

And you wouldn’t have heard it
in time to duck—

that Frisbee whizzing toward your ear—

but your eyes, like magic,

absorb the necessary light and shadows,

the motion instructing you to step aside.
As you look ahead,
focused on the colorful horizon,
an image of your friend appears in your mind.
Yesterday, she just got the news.  Bad.

Not a hope in sight.

They’ll have to go, the doctor said.

both of them—

the two bright planets
dying like stars,
an explosion of cancer
before the permanence of dark.

Blind.  A life sentence.
Once, when your vocabulary was incomplete
it was only a word that followed love is….

 

 

DeMaris Gaunt

11-8-11

 

Fireworks

The tight fisted sun
pounds the party
on the beach
this fourth of July.

Teenagers,
brown bodied
and glowing with laughter
throw Frisbees
and bodysurf
along the shore.

Colorful umbrellas
dissolve the heat
with their small round
shadows
while bellies fill
with the offerings
taken from the fire:
roasted corn
hot dogs,
s’mores.

Slowly, the ocean
drinks from the sky its light
and the smaller fire
ignites a fuse
held by careless hands
a little drunk with
independence
and all of a sudden
all the water in the world
is twenty feet
too far away.

DeMaris Gaunt
7-15-12

Driving Too Fast

Driving Too Fast

I like driving

ninety miles an hour

as if there was a need

to travel at the speed of risk.

 

I love when the car

in front of me

gets out of my way,

merges right

because they’re paying attention

and they know how to play this game.

 

But what I really love

Is being the driver

who spots you

coming into focus

like an animated short

inside the TV

of my rear-view.

 

I like to imagine the moment

when you realize

you are at my mercy—

that I am the boundary

of your urgency

and all you need

is for me to recognize your greater purpose

and move over,

which I do.

 

 

 

DeMaris Gaunt

July, 2010

 

Glow

Glow

It was a Buick.  Red.

On fire with a kiss.

The stoplight gave them

just enough time

to carry on

with the passion of youth

while it gave me

just enough time

to write the first three lines

of this poem.

 

Startled by the honk,

I looked up to see

the Buick already

pulling ahead

disappearing into the future

when out of the window

a cigarette appeared

on the end of his arm;

a small glow

dissolving

in the sudden rush of air.

 

 

DeMaris Gaunt

2-21-11

Hard to Say

Hard to Say 

Who knows if it will live

or not—

the small baby robin

whose black speckled body

I lifted out of the hole

between the garden

and the basement window.

 

He heard the struggle,

my son—

whose thirteen years

of life experience

have accumulated into

a sad indifference

to its cries for help.

 

Instead of rushing

out the front door to investigate

the source of such commotion

he called to me

from the comfortable nest of his chair

in front of the computer screen.

 

“Something is dying

outside the window,” he said

with an unfamiliar voice

beginning to hatch and deepen.

 

When the tiny wings

fluttered out of my hands

into the motherless afternoon,

I felt its chances were as good

as the kid downstairs

who had made no effort yet

to fly.

 

DeMaris Gaunt

6-26-13