“The Lack” by Chard deNiord

Chard deNiord


So I
am feckless I
for I 
was born without 
sufficient feck,
which is why
I take a supplement
of it, 
along with all
my other pills 
and stuff,
although it’s never quite
So I 
digress as a way
to curse 
my dearth of feck, 
as if 
a prolegomenon or plot 
could plug the drain 
of my so-leaky self,
and then
an afterward as well,
but no, 
not yet. 
I had a dream last night 
in which 
I was enough— 
with a speck 
that tipped the scale 
to bliss;
but lo, 
I couldn’t sleep 
for long and woke 
to what 
I felt was far
too much and missed 
my old 
ironic want.
So I confess,
feck is more 
when it is less.

from Rattle #69, Fall 2020


Chard deNiord: “I live on ten wild acres in Westminster West, Vermont, where my wife and I have planted two gardens. She paints and I write when we’re not gardening. I write because I have always had to since I was about fifteen. My two poems in this issue came to me one day while I was pulling weeds. For reasons that are just as mysterious as my need to write and date back to my days as a divinity student, I’ve always been intrigued by the paradox of fecklessness as an essential source for inspiration, as well as an antidote for boring perfection. With regard to the ‘flame’ in ‘The Mantle,’ I’m equally intrigued by the mystery of fire that feeds invisibly off the frailest material. I view it as a metaphor for writing poetry itself.” (web)

Rattle Logo