"Solum, Patron Saint of Wallflowers," "Medius, Patron Saint of Uncertainty," and "Cito, Patron Saint of the Too Soon Dead"

Solum, Patron Saint Of Wallflowers

The worst dilemma is

to both envy and fear

the dance


To admire all

the fluidity and know

that your fits and starts

would only trouble the water

slap worthless against the waves

never graceful or moving, this

is the difference between swimming

and drowning



are more anchor

than ballast

that’s why we

have a hard time

with any kind of grace

The iron has

set too far

into our veins


But when the

ships set to sea

deft and majestic

and leave us inelegant

and landlocked

we are weightless

we become our own

and each others



we are the horizon

we are the shoreline

we are lighthouse

we are signal fire

we true north

we luminaria

left behind

to move fearless

in the moonlight

and dance




Medius, Patron Saint Of Uncertainty

I’m sorry

I can’t be

as honest

as your face

chin down

mouth fraught 

eyes that won’t

let the light in


and I strangely

have no words


In this time

as in every

we are all


only begotten

children locked

in the same room

all our hurt

laying atop

each others


drawing breath

with no perception

how the next

may come


I, as you

am afflicted

with this doubt

and only able

to offer up the

palest of shelter

thin and unsure

built from a notion

ancient but rendered

bizarre from misuse:


That whatever

will alleviate this

must be built

and learned from

each other, but

more than anything

we must never

allow it to be


That is

the only thing

we can ever

be sure of



Cito, Patron Saint Of The Too Soon Dead


spare us

your candles

as their light

means nothing

this vigil is

a travesty and

I will no longer

keep it


How does

one shepherd

the damned?


confused and

left to wander

between plains

dazed and



And Lord

I can’t blame them

as the last fraction

of hope in their

throats burns acrid

in mine as well

How can I console

these indigent when

all I have to offer

is the ash of so

many charred

time lines

too short








I see no plan

no justice in

any of this

and I no longer

accept the ineffable

your most convenient

excuse, clearly you

were never a child

For if you were

you would find

more delight

in what you

have created

You are no

kind of parent

as you have

never raised

your children

only demanded

their discipline


And when

they disobey

and more so

when they have

done nothing at all

you strike them

with the greatest

of lashes and take

away the only gift

you ever saw fit to

give them before

they have had 

a chance to

enjoy it


I can no longer

participate in this

See me as a failure

but you should

be used to that

I cannot assure

these souls that

there was a reason

for their untimely

end as I know you

didn’t have one


I leave you

to bear their

anguished howls

of renouncement

while I will see

to celebrating the

lives of these

abandoned children

bolster their still

living family

with hymns

to sing and music

to dance in the liturgy

of their young’s


let all the

tribute fall

upon the


and take

no salutation


This is

what you do

when you

love someone



Paulie Lipman

Paulie Lipman is a loud Jewish/Queer/ poet/performer/novelist. He is also the composer behind the 80’s horror movie inspired darksynth project, Hobb’s End. His poetry has appeared in Button Poetry, Write About Now, The Emerson Review, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Voicemail Poems, pressure gauge, Protimluv (Czech Republic) and Prisma: Zeitblatt Fur Text & Sprache (Germany). Their poetry collections 'from below/denied the light' and 'sad bastard soundtrack' are available from Swimming With Elephants Publications. Check out paulielipman.com. Paulie recommends the Audre Lorde Project.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - 22:24