Image by Ostap Senyuk


the madrigal, volume iii

Or So I Heard

by j.j. steinfeld

Oh my, it is the end of the fifth consecutive day
one hundred and twenty hours
in my life of days, day following day,
that not anyone has appeared, not anything has happened,

NOT ANYONE and NOT ANYTHING huge neon words

scribbled larger than life in my daydreams and nightmares

no letters solicited or unsolicited

no e-mails received heartfelt or spam

no text messages poetic or prosaic
no phone calls personal or formal
no wrong numbers, no crank calls

no praise, no threats, no words of desire,

not anyone, not anything
yet the sun has risen five times
the sun has set five times

like divine clockwork
but my watch has stopped
and all my curtains are drawn
oh well, the sixth day is about to begin

and I can only hope
perhaps even pray
for a knock at the door
someone or something
normal or paranormal
anyone or anything
natural as Nature
a bird chirping
a cat meowing,
God, after all,
took six days
creating the world,
or so I heard.

Canadian poet, fiction writer, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published 21 books, including An Unauthorized Biography of Being (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2016), Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be (Poetry, Guernica Editions, 2017), A Visit to the Kafka Café (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2018), Gregor Samsa Was Never in The Beatles (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2019), and Morning Bafflement and Timeless Puzzlement (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2020). His short stories and poems have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies internationally, including in the Irish publications Boyne Berries, Revival, Crannóg, The Poetry Bus, Skylight 47, The Stony Thursday Book: A Collection of Contemporary Poetry, The Blue Nib, Channel, and The Ogham Stone. A new poetry collection, Somewhat Absurd, Somehow Existential, is forthcoming from Guernica Editions in fall 2021.