Poems by Clinton Van Inman


Drag your white skull beyond blind seas
That tumble dazed to you mono-eyed magic.
Go tell Neptune when the night is through.
Charm him, too, with your waxing and waning.
But you can’t catch me with those veiled half smiles.
Your borrowed brilliance exposes you.
I know your darker side.
Go charm some other star struck rhapsodist.




Just a bag of clues is all you are,
Just a bit of bone, a cut of cloth,
Wild dogs took all the rest.
Like some grisly jigsaw pieced upon
A table they now call you Jane.
But I knew it was really you.
Sketch artist captured well
That girlish grin I thought I’d
Never see again until your
Composite un-identified you:
Front page girl, eighteen to twenty-one.
You know we searched for you
Day and night, night and day
Until they gave up and thought
You had really run away.
But I knew it took more than snow
To cover you that day not even
Your horoscopes could predict.
But from that cut of cloth the trail
Of footprints follow from fibers
You left behind upon the front seat
From the only sweater you had owned,
Though badly burned it could not hide,
And was more than enough to show–
Now your forensic fingers finally point
To the one who had really lied.

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