Thursday, September 29, 2016

Welcome to Yoby Henthorn

Tonight I'd like to post some poems from Yoby Henthorn's volume When Icarus Falls, a work in progress about the poet's bipolar disorder.  These poems are the first published from the series.

Anhedonia is a term meaning "a psychological condition characterized by inability to experience pleasure in normally pleasurable acts" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).


I stare at the leggy, late summer geranium
 blooms bob in midair
Grass as green  
As In late summer rain is grey.

I don’t wish for fall
For bright gold birches
Skinny, black spruce

I wish for the Browns, grays against
 Thin blacks
Of spruce
Before the first snow
Makes them beautiful.

I don’t wish for soft, deep snow
Falling down,
Muffling sound

I wish for a bench
In a stubbled hay field
Sharp, whistling wind
Blowing snow grit sideways
Scouring my face
As it blows clean
The fields
From Kansas to New Mexico

Persephone’s House

My house is piles, mazes, dust , and string
Heavy grease of fried fish, thin chicken blood, and stale water
Pool, bead and glisten on the kitchen surfaces
My house smells
Like nickel,
Like copper,
Like pig- iron,
 Like salt.

Missing Diana

She’s hunting tornados.
Books , magazines and craft kits
 Avalanche off the table.
We kick them out of our way.
She didn’t buy groceries before she left.
She hasn’t bought groceries in months,
But has left a large, half- finished Victorian gingerbread house, with its half-finished furniture.
Hulking on the kitchen counter surrounded by bowls of royal icing hardened to ceramic.
When we are bored , we flick pastel candy shingles off the roof
When hungry, we break off a piece of wall and run it under water so we don’t break our teeth.
We toss the dog a chair, or a sofa.

Yarn from unfinished afghans snakes around our feet.
We shuffle slowly to some corner, chair leg, lamp base,
Placing the yarn carefully
Weaving a web.

Tornadoes will end come winter.
She will come home.
We’ll snare her.
Make her tell stories for a thousand and one nights
About the nine billion names of God.


Heat waves shimmer from the asphalt road too soon after a cold cloud of depression lifts.
This is what I live for.
Thunderstorms building up, up up.
Lightning storms sizzling my brain.
Softball size
Falling, cracking, breaking, breaking

Green Sky
Spinning sick
Nosferatu’s fingers reaching down, down, down
I bite the wrist and ride.


The chow’s fur
Millions of thin beading needles
He brushes  against me,
Never leaves my side.
Thousands of needles
I pull out every day
And place in a bronze bowl on my nightstand.

He corals me into the bedroom
Corals me onto my bed, yet won’t let me sleep.
As soon as I doze, he growls and jumps on me,
Lies upon me
The needles pierce me no matter how many blankets I use.
I sit up again and pull the needles
Out of me
Out of the blankets,
Out of my shoes.
Small dry plinks as I drop them into the bowl.

He will let me go to the toilet,
But not the shower,
Not anyplace he can’t be with me.
He’s allergic to water.
I wet a towel corner anyway
Wipe my face, my underarms, my groin
Knowing I still smell sour
He’s brushed against the towel
So I let it drop
Knowing it smells sour anyway
Knowing it is too full of needles
Knowing I can splash myself with water
And splash him at the same time

Every once in awhile, he lets me eat,
But only because he is hungry too.
A piece of cheese for me, a piece for him
A tablespoon of peanut  butter for me
A tablespoon for him

My face is as thin as a knife.
My teeth rattle in my gums
His shoulder blades and hips poke through his fur.
He is losing thousands of needles a day.
I wonder which of us will die first.

Ben Williams' "Things Don't Exist" is a good song to start with:

Here is his "Lost and Found" with Christian Scott:

"Black Villain Music" fits well, too:

I'll finish with his version of "Moontrane":


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this selection of Poetry by Yoby favorite of this set has to be

  2. A marvelous collection. Really great work.