The Magician

Frank Possemato


Fantasy is born
not bred
rain or your window,
the world outside
(or under your bed)
Finding forgotten worlds under rocks, in backyards
(or closets for those who lack)
by night, by year, by library book
the hidden world appeared
and if someone can make a guitar sound like autumn
then why isn’t there magic,
so armed with a copy of Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits
(on tape) and a notebook
I set out to conquer the world
to be the hero I was about to be
before adolescence interfered
to become the magician,
of course I grew the beard

and if anyone was looking
at the public library they’d find
all three Crowley books were gone
now in my possession
(last checked out before I was born)
and so I tried to prove there was no zero
and to see the numbers dance in ways
no normal eye could see
and speak the Rosicrucian language
the dialect the world forgot,
I served two masters in those days
a student at university (on loans)
a student of magic (self taught)

but everywhere I go they can’t see
the formulas in my notebooks
maybe the alchemy in my eyes
hints I’m on to something
secrets of the universe
held in like a sneeze
the workings of the world corralled with words
re-arrange them how you please

outside the hospital waiting room,
even magicians have physicals,
I notice in the men’s room mirror
the way my hair falls over one eye
kind of like Jimmy Page
but when I return to my seat
I can’t help feeling their gazes creeping
when I read The Lesser Key of Solomon
instead of last week’s People

The nights I spent
racing for answers
racing to the back of books consumed
(my collection now grown
collecting overdue fees and costing me sleep)
blurry nights up in my tower (room)
a sinking sick feeling in my stomach
as the end arrived
and found no answer I could take with me
the last page ran out
before my questions did:
Atman is Brahman
that much I get
But where I take exception-
though I might misunderstand-
is that the secret is to not give a damn
and hope to be extinguished?
-Spare me the golden nowhere!
and one night
a very rare madness
closed my book
and drove me outdoors

I won’t say
what I saw that night,
supernatural and real,
but since then my books are back once more
to their life of peaceful neglect on the shelves
and the marks of my profession
are not so much on my sleeve.
In the end the eye was quicker than the hand
the answers that came to my rescue
trumped the ones I had prepared
-but don’t despair
the hidden world doesn’t know it’s hidden,
and I can always grow the beard



Frank Possemato’s writing has appeared in a variety of publications including 3AM, Underground Voices, and in Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” series.