a poetry e-zine










Poems By Jon Wesick

Identity’s Core

I am not a Buddhist. Brown-robed monks

introduced me to Emptiness – raking leaves,

sunlight through stained-glass gaitan windows,

the smell of incense in clean mountain air.

But my rapture did not survive

the rage bottled in colorless office walls.

I am not a physicist. The degrees

folded in my safe deposit box testify

to thousands of textbook problems solved,

but I can’t fix a toaster.

Countless mathematical details have dissolved

like cotton candy in the bathtub of forgetfulness.

I am not a martial artist. Two black belts

fade in the bleach of worn joints and aiki perplexity.

Cat stance, hook stance, pull from the legs – I forget

where to put my foot.

I picture myself, moustache white with age,

reading a story through thick glasses to an audience.

My words – perhaps the only allies

of some kid, who feels cut off like me.

Although Ginsberg offered me help in a vision,

the first draft’s uncertainty still chases me

from my scribblings to the TV,

the radio, a walk on the beach…

Surely, this literary sham can’t go on much longer.


Host of the Gelato Poetry Series, instigator of the San Diego Poetry Un-Slam, and an editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual, Jon Wesick has published over two hundred poems in journals such as The New Orphic Review, Pearl, Pudding, and Slipstream. He has also published forty short stories. Jon has a Ph.D. in physics and is a longtime student of Buddhism and the martial arts. One of his poems won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists contest.

Copyright 2011  Chantarelle's Notebook