by Emily Strauss

Heart: Possibly the most overused metaphor in the English language. Avoid it. The Roman physician Galen said the liver, not the heart, is the true seat of human passion.

When writing, words should never appear,
The heart is possibly overused, a plausible
Hypothesis but nobody cares about whether
The moon is pretty, no, stars and flowers
Only glitter and writing about dreams only
Occupies your waking thoughts, you believe.

If you still believe you haven’t lived enough
You find mirrors like doors, an original
Juxtaposition, pretentious but don’t remind
Me, nothing kills faster than the self-
Referential, the surest sign you’ve run out.

* Night Bomb Review #1, “13 Words”, Fall, 2009, p. 15

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. Over 150 of her poems appear in dozens of online venues and in anthologies, recently including Catamaran Literary Reader, Iron Gall Press, and Twisted Vine Literary Art Journal. The natural world is generally her framework; she often focuses on the tension between nature and humanity, using concrete images to illuminate the loss of meaning between them. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.