A Pedestal of My Own Design
Brace yourselves — more free verse

I tried to place you

on a cramped pedestal

of my own design

small, like a 19th century

zoo cage

to tame your wild heart

and blunt your teeth

make you less you

so I could rest easy

but alone

unwounded but scarred

so I wouldn’t wonder

if you were hunting

through pulsing nightclubs

tonight

not forced to imagine

the migrating flesh

you feast on

in a communion

of transient carnality

a glutton

remorseful

but only when spotted

in the daylight

with the fierce glint

of contentment

that you can’t quite disguise

as I try to cage you

once more

on an ill-fitting pedestal

of my own design


Here are two other free verse poems I’ve written (that’s it, the whole repertoire)

The Turmoil of Diaspora

Diminuendo

Or check out a couple of real poets who kindly grace my site:

Basilike Pappa at Silent Hour

And Bojana Stojcic. Her site is currently private, but I’ll link you to one of her poems Conquering Freedom, Et Cetera on the Visual Verse site.

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12 thoughts on “A Pedestal of My Own Design
Brace yourselves — more free verse

  1. so I wouldn’t wonder
    if you were hunting
    through pulsing nightclubs
    tonight
    not forced to imagine
    the migrating flesh
    you feast on
    in a communion
    of transient carnality — these are such great lines, Sean! Seriously, this poem is something I’d like to have written myself. Perfect choice of theme too!

    And thank you very much!

    1. Sean D. Layton

      You’re welcome!!

      As far as the theme, people make this mistake all the time. I was especially guilty of it as a young man which led to all kinds of emotional turmoil. I’d become infatuated with a woman and eventually had to accept her as a real person, warts and all, and not try to jam her into my template of perfection, which wasn’t fair to her and would only lead to disappointment on my part. If I could not accept her for who she was, it meant we weren’t right together. I had to realize, this is who this person is. And this is why she is like that. It helped me diminish hurt and anger when someone did something disappointing. Instead of trying to ‘fix’ her to meet my vision, I either accepted her flaws, moved on completely or redefined the relationship as a friendship, which I’ve done a few time.

      I was debating on taking out the lines:

      “small, like a 19th century

      zoo cage”

      I changed the poem a bit after I wrote that and not sure if it still fits or works.

      1. Many people have made the same mistake, me included. Accepting others for who they are is part of becoming more mature, I guess. And if we can’t accept them (because there are some people who are unacceptable), it’s better to show them the door than try to fix things with them.

        I see nothing wrong with the lines — maybe what I would do is take out “19th century”, unless you have a very specific reason for using it.

      2. Sean D. Layton

        I used it because I saw a photo of an old zoo from that period and the cage was so small.

  2. So simple and yet so meaningful… I think everyone would relate to these lines.. It takes a while to understand and accept people as they are… Sometimes it even costs loosing a great relationship to get this simple thing.
    Such beautiful lines …☺️🙏

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