Sometimes Y Poetry

Poetry by Barry Marks



When did you

stop listening

Why are we yelling?



I’ll respond

with a letter


A, First of All

A is one, a thing.

One thing, some


My mother would say

You are the first;

First in order.

First in line.

First in worth.

My head in the sky,

My feet on the Earth, I stand

So the others will follow.






Point man

Sergeant, You take point.





If you are in front who has your back?

What path does the first follow,

To avoid losing all?

If you are the top

Who will cushion your fall?

Is alone at the top

Better than alone at the bottom?

Follow me:

I was the first of my line

And now my line is lost.

I was the first,

And now I am the last.

But first of all is first of all

If nothing else.


E, Silence is…

The shape of water

the color of air

the volume of silence

when no answers where

mad made

fad fade

shad shade

glad glade

the power of silence

though it may seem strange

no word is more likely

to generate change

hat hate

fat fate

mat mate

rat rate

when leaders sit silent

what rises to stand

the engine of horror

the face of the damned

look what hate delivered

from out of the shade

see what fate we invited

see what the mad made


I, Am

Where do I end

And you begin?

They see you,


And when you were gone

They said there is

A heaven above the sky.



But what am I?

An I is a line.

A line has

No beginning

Or end,

No width,


Substance or self;

A mere partition

Of space

And space,

Unless there is more

Than they can see.

As in my grief I

Reach to you

For more,


As I am

That I am

Because I am narrowed

By your absence,

As I am

What I know,

What they cannot know:

That my line will know no end

As long as I am and you are,

And as long as I am you will be,

As the sky goes on

Until they call it something else.


O, The Story of

This is the story of me

Of O

O well

What’s in a name?

Nothing nO thing

O autocorrects to I


O is the name of the shape

Of a zer-O

The perfect absOlute O

O my O dear I say my name

You knOw?

Open Opinion Opalescent Ovary O’clock

Ohm Ommmmmmmmmmmm Old Ocean Oat

Okra Orca Orangutan Okapi (Poor O-possum

deprived of his O) Ozone Oblique

Odor Oak Oath Obedient Obituary

Obliterate Oblige Oboe Occasion Odin Old

Olfactory Onerous Olympic Omega

Omission Opiate Opinion Ordain Ordinary

Oracle Or Orchestrate Orb Orate Orchid Ore

Ordinance Organ Organize Oriental Origin


and sO on and so On

Over and Over

But it’s always the Same O


You’d think I’d get respect but, heck

I and U are all you care about

O, the Overuse of the prOnoun!

While I, O, am left impersonal

I, O, am the shape of love

I, O, am the eyes, not I

E is the most popular vowel

Did you knOw that?

And popular Ms. E

E shows herself as a scrEam

Most popular when silent

And Y? Why bother?

Half the time it’s one of THEM,

The hard-souled cacophony

PhOny vowel, Y.

Pretends to be E.

O well

O dear

O my



O fOrget it.


Beneath a Sky

Beneath a sky heavy with stars

I am alone between the horizons;

alone as each star whose light

strains to cross the void.

In this relentless night

how can I believe?

In this relentless night

how dare I not?

The burning seed

is set within my chest.

In the time we have left

let me tell you a story;

Her shadow lengthened

as she walked from my arms,


became night.

And like you, in darkness

I was alone.

Friend, lover, enemy,

Beneath a sky of darkness

and deeper darkness beyond

we are backlit dreams.

It is life to be touched by dreamers.


U, The Ugly

When I look in the mirror

I look exactly like me

Ugh. Ug-ly

Ungainly. Unloved


I tag behind queer Q

Always U

All ways U


Don Q

A headless O

Egg in a cup



Am I empty?




Usable. Useful

Uncluttered. Unshut

Unbarred. Unlocked

A horseshow turned up.

It’s true

Always U

Only U

The beautiful don’t try

To be beautiful

But the ugly? We do

Only U

Only down can rise up

Only little can grow

Only an open mind

Can learn to know.


Sometimes Y

Man, Woman.


Adam and Eve


And different

And same


Sometimes vowel

Sometimes not


Fertile crescent

Between thighs


Left branch and right

Where day becomes night

Are black and white

Opposites make war

The promise of dawn

The quiet of dusk

Province of peace

Always and never

Are ever at war


Is where worlds apart

Come together