These two poems by Alexander Lazarus Wolff address the psychology of the human experience. In essence, both of these poems address desire…
by: Alexander Lazarus Wolff
Consider the Fly Cars fly by buildings sprayed with neon helices of graffiti, intricate loops that bend and weave together as if they were cursive letters. I stand up and come out of the alley, leaving behind the gutted building on which I leaned while smoking my cigarette. I take a seat on the curb, shielded from the sun by a 1978 Mercury Capri infected by rust. Nearby, a homeless man rattles his cup of change. The people rush through the steam floating upward from the grates in the sidewalk. For two weeks now, I’ve come here daily to smoke, watching as throngs of people sweep down the streets. There is something that is both pleasing and disconcerting at being unnoticed. Consider, for instance, being a fly like one of those buzzing around the homeless man’s head. Your existence is not even recognized, just a mere swat of the hand is all that you’ll get before flying off to some distant place. All that you were was a minor annoyance, if you’re even noticed at all. In that case, is gaining the attention of another worthwhile? I toss my cigarette butt into one of the garbage bins before heading home. The sun glares at me, my sole spectator, as it glazes me with heat. In the distance, between the steel girders and beyond the train tracks, the James River rushes and roars as light spangles the water.
Alcoholism A spot of spilled Merlot on a white tablecloth. Carmine: the blood in our veins is not so pure. We are not like Christ, our blood a sacrament. We have no reason to be crucified, no passion that would merit an ultimate sacrifice. We are not holy. Our purpose is to live for ourselves, gulping from the crystal cup with its delicate stem of fluted glass. But this wine cannot cleanse. Sin is our only escape: that obliteration of the self that is drunkenness. Let the haze seep in from your peripheral vision. Watch as the world fades like a photograph in the sun; drink up and let the hours dissolve.
Alexander Lazarus Wolff is a writer of poetry and creative nonfiction. His work has been published or is forthcoming in The Best American Poetry online, The Citron Review, NDQ, Black Fox Literary Magazine, South Florida Poetry Journal, Serotonin, and elsewhere. He was awarded first place in the Poetry Society of Virginia’s Undergraduate Award. He is a poetry editor for The Plentitudes and is an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary. You can find him and more of his work on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wolffalex108/ on Instagram: @wolffalex108 and at www.alexanderlazaruswolff.com.