Uncharted Territory

Uncharted Territory
Uncharted Territory

found myself

on the floor last night

didn’t think

much of it, just

got back in bed and fell

back asleep


life can be funny that way


didn’t notice

the blood or the pain

until morning


funny that way


like noticing a great idea

hasn’t occurred to you yet


or a friend left last year

for Tierra del Fuego

without a blog or

a text or like Michael

Rockefeller disappearing

in New Guinea in 1961


they say he died there but

how would I know?


maybe he drowned or

they ate him or maybe

he’ll show up next year

at the Oscars or Burning

Man or the White House

or something


life can be funny that way


or like when you find out

your grandfather was

a bastard – no, not that way –

a nice guy, but just that

his parents weren’t really

his parents or something

and all of a sudden things


fall into place like why

he was always trying

to make up for something

and never seemed

to get there


funny that way


so now

I guess the docs will want

to wire me up and stick me

prod me and take a bunch

of readings and blood

to make sure I’m okay


or out of morbid curiosity

or so they can play

with their cool toys


or just to cover their asses


and when they’re done

they still won’t be able

to tell me how or why

I came to land

face first on the floor

in the first place


life can be funny that way

sure can be funny that way



James K. Zimmerman is an award-winning poet and Pushcart Prize nominee. His work appears in The Evansville Review, Confrontation, The Worcester Review, Atlanta Review, Nimrod, The Bellingham Review, Vallum, Kestrel, The Cape Rock, Oberon, and The MacGuffin, among others. He is the author of “Little Miracles” (Passager Books, 2015) and “Family Cookout” (Comstock, 2016), the winner of the Jessie Bryce Niles Chapbook Award from The Comstock Review. He can be contacted through his website.