Fourth Post

 

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This poem was published in the Black Warrior Review 20th Anniversary Volume.

 

Whirligigs

“The art of the whirligig is to install some kind of figure up
above the tail and propeller and then use the wind to animate
the figure. Of course, it’s best if it depicts something that has a
constant motion back and forth. Convicts with sledge-
hammers–that sort of thing.”
(The New Yorker, June 25, 1990)

 

I’m counting what I have one of.
A swan, sipping from the ocean, weeping salt from my nostrils,
I drip solutions distilled from their problems,
and oh, honey, I seven wonders of the world you.
Like the man’s ashes that attended the Super Bowl in his son’s pocket,
I’m for an underground existence if it means being earthquaked by you.

I’m colonizing inner space before someone else does.
Harmony, order, perfection; robots for the cooking and cleaning.
Come floods, locusts, fire, we’ll have insect orchestras
serenade our spontaneous combustion for oh, honey,
I theory of the universe you.

I’m on a binary search for truth and beauty
somewhere after L but before Z.
A computer searching records,
I keep going until there’s a match cause oh,
honey, I queen for a day three-part harmony
winner of the spelling bee red sky at night sailor’s delight you.

Third Post

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This poem, like the one in my First Post, appeared in Phoebe: A Journal of Literary Arts (Vol. 24, No. 2). Phoebe has a new name these days, Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art, and it appears once annually in print and once online.

 

The Woman Who Gave Up Thinking

Listened carefully
to everyone.

She understood
how a bracelet of words
could be clasped
to form a sentence.

How the gaps
between someone’s sentences
were to allow for the indentations
of paragraphs.

She saw the forms
of others’ ideas
like a child’s alphabet blocks
heaped one on the other.

Turned around
they became tiny animals.

In the silences
there was enough else.

Years passed.

Second Post

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Here’s a poem that was published in Nightsun (Issue #14, Fall 1994).

 

The Parallel Universe of Grief

In Belize a fat whore whispered to me,
I think about what music does.
Here I place one foot down and then the next,
thinking, she won’t be there,
whatever direction I take.
The woman whose child was killed by dogs
carries a whistle at all times.
Screeee she warns a bus back
and screeee she calls to the drugstore man
who eases her away with lotions.
She pierces the flesh on her husband’s arms,
displays him like a butterfly in a glass case.
Waving to passersby she points:
Jesus on the wall, baby in a box. Screeee
she calls to the public
to come see her patriarch monarch.
I place my feet together, then imagine them gone.
Transparency is my strategy now,
against I know how you feel.
Invisible, I am the wind carrying salt to your world.

 

 

 

 

First Post

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Recently I wanted to share a published poem of mine with a new acquaintance, Jerry, so I photocopied it and handed it to him. He suggested that I start a blog and put my old poems on it, as few or none of them are accessible online. I dislike the word “blog” and have long resisted starting one, but I do like sharing my poems and photos and such, so I’ve decided to thank Jerry and give it a try. Here’s a poem that was published in Phoebe: A Journal of Literary Arts (Vol. 24, No. 2) in 1995. It was a finalist for the Grege Grummer Award in Poetry.

 

Little Black Sambo Turned to Peanut Butter for Your Sins

Bipedal and in a hurry.

Not much changes.

Heyheylistenlisten

listen I gotta tell you

anythingcanhappen

you know it’s so all it takes
is critical mass what other kind is there

these days amIright so you can

bet it’s true when I say I’ve seen

ducks make pigs of themselves

and that’s not all waitwait don’t go

listen to this the alphabet song

you know ABCDEFG it’s the same goddamn melody

as twinkle twinkle little star and and

youwon’tbelievethis baa baa black sheep waitwait

there’s more you just havetohearthis

But what I

really can’t forgive

is heroes who die
leaving me stained with life

to administer last compliments.

Stay here, the rest of you.

Rest in the peace of a good argument finished.

Tie the ends of your braids with the strings from teabags,

get up and dance.