The Lesser of Two Evils

By Benjamin Grossman and Cassa Bassa

The glacial battle begins in our heads
Face pressed to the sun-pierced window pane
January snow in recession, the signs of regression 
Half hidden like an iceberg in the arctic water 
And where once a soft glow illuminated the surface 
Only the placement of desolation remains
Reverberating silent screams 
There is no one way of knowing cold
The stages are fluid and transient
Its meaning bitterly ambiguous 
Yet in rare lucid moments, I see husks
An empty bed, scarred skin, chattered teeth
Spirit-numbed mind, missed meals, vacant smiles

There is no one way of knowing cold
Its symptoms appear to have no rhyme or reason
Although they move with wintry doom
From person to person increasing in aggression 
Till you understand the meaning of icy
Which unbeknownst to us creeps in succession 

There is no one way of knowing cold 
Though maybe it’s always the same
Emotional and physical reaction 
A state of feeling dangerously low
Struggling to survive between cold and colder
The very same polar opposites: Arctic and Antarctica

(This is part of a collaborative poetic effort between myself and Cassa Bassa. Make sure you check out her blog by visiting Flicker Of Thoughts. She’s always coming up with some exciting words! And often sketches, too.)

46 comments on “The Lesser of Two Evils

  1. Cassa Bassa says:

    Thanks for writing with me Ben. Intruly appreciate it.

  2. gabychops says:

    Dear Benjamin, it looks that this collaboration about cold is hot, hot, and even organic!!

    Tell me more, tell me more…

    Thank you.


    • Thanks for reading and commenting. There is constant transfer of hot in cold in everything; you’re right about this, I think. And when you said “Tell me more, tell me more” I instantly thought of the film “Grease”. There’s a bit more heat in the form of lightning. Thanks again!

  3. Secrets says:

    Oh an outstanding collaboration πŸ‘ Such beautifully emotive descriptions; I was completely captivated by this intricately crafted piece. Well done to you both πŸ’œ

  4. Nice work both! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ–€

  5. Both your words seamlessly weave together to craft an eloquent piece of poetry. Well done, both of you!!

  6. Lia says:

    This is really awesome. It’s a beautifully written depiction of the desolation we must all feel from time to time, sometimes for a long time. We all experience grief in different ways. I can relate to some of this for sure. Amazing work by two talented authors, and a lovely collaboration.

    • Thanks, Lia. All your words … they really go toward the core of the collaboration. Glad you got it!

      • Lia says:

        Oh… I feel like you’re giving any imagined deductive powers I might have too much credit here haha… I feel pretty dim/not smart at all, when I visit your blog sometimes. :)) Not sure if I “got” it, but certainly could relate to the overall vibe, and to particularly a few lines. Namely these:

        “Its meaning […] ambiguous
        Yet in rare lucid moments, I see”…

        and then the key phrase of course:

        “There is no one way of knowing cold”

        which brought it all together, for everybody… making it an awesome collab to read.

        You and Cassa are both very good at teamwork. Beautiful and elegant to see… which makes it so positively inspiring. πŸ”† Hope you have a great week. πŸ˜ŠπŸ™

      • Cassa Bassa says:

        Thank you so very much Lia for taking the time to read and comment in detail, I really appreciate it!

      • Lia says:

        Aw you’re welcome and thanks so much Cassa, this warms my heart. πŸ€—πŸ’—

  7. That’s beautiful work. Congratulations to both of you on this, I read with particular interest since I work in such a cold place (-28C this morning [-18F]). πŸ™‚

  8. R. says:

    Applause worthy! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

  9. wardah says:

    “Spirit-numbed mind, missed meals, vacant smiles” – wow, what a powerful line!

    I love how you guys captured the icy, chilly feeling throughout the poem. This is really wonderful! πŸ™Œ

  10. tara caribou says:

    This is so good! I really enjoyed it.

  11. V.J. Knutson says:

    This is an excellent collaboration – well written.

  12. You guys did such a great job together!!!! Love it!!

  13. I love collaborations and you have found a like-mind poet to do that with…how wonderful! I went to her site and read some of her poems..I can see why you two can write together when you want! This cold poem makes me shiver..really so many shades of cold..and the worst one does not come from outside, but from inside a soul that is dead to life.. dead to love..

    • Glad you went to her site. She has a great style. And yes we wrote well together from the start. It’s nice when you can make these writing connections, as they don’t always work so effortlessly. You’re right about this: inner cold is the hardest kind to deal with.

  14. Such a beautiful piece…loved this work…

  15. Ace says:

    Beautifully written! What an awesome collaboration!! I love this piece, just marvelous poetry! Keep up the great work!! πŸ’›πŸ€—

  16. simplymesmc says:

    I wish to be as good as you in poetry.

  17. judeitakali says:


  18. Diana says:

    A superb collaboration! Wonder how I missed this! Well done, Benji! Stay blessed β€οΈπŸ™

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