Tag: Poetry

Pushed Too Hard

and I feel a crash coming
I’m sure of it
This flesh bucket in which
I ride has a hole in it
My strength pouring out
through my soles into
the ravenous earth with
an alarming alacrity
As if I didn’t need it
“Come back!” I plead
“Come back!”
“Will I ever feel you again?”
The words fall away
Unheeded
in heaps
around
my feet

Siren Song

Yule is now stripped
from the room
Incandescent yellow
usurping red and blue
Sitar
Surbahar
Guitar
returned to their places
in full frontal
bare-stringed glory and
with their seductive curves
and sexy voices they
wantonly beckon me
to come
and play

Langston

This dark man
head tilted on his hand
with eyes darker still
Deep as the deepest well
neath a black midnight sky
Born to know too much
Cursed to see too much
of cold white lies
but oh could he write!
Sadness
Joy
Jazz
Blues
The soul that was
Langston Hughes

What Hath Color Wrought?

It was all so simple back then
So honest and elemental
I’ve seen the images
Black and white banks
and soda signs
Black and white
Chesterfield billboards
and overalls and suits
Folks dreamed in
black and white, too
The blood on Capone’s
streets?
Mere toppled inkwells

So romantic

Everyday life was
black and white nostalgic –
no need to wait and look
back wistfully at old photos!

But someone invented color
Smeared it on everything
and nothing’s been the same
since

Blood is ugly now
Bright, dangerous and visceral

Lipstick on corpses has
become garish

Trash on the streets is filthier
and disasters no longer appear as
simple
sanitized
historical oddities

The horror of living
can now no longer be ignored

New Light

I am showered
Freshly shaved
Clothes neat and clean
in honor of my present
affliction whose
presence has lent
a warmer glow
A new and richer
fondness on the memory
of better days
The appreciation of which
I had allowed to fade
Letting them pass
little noticed

Stubbed Toes

Was my verse substandard today?
Did my poems lack proper aplomb?
Yes, it’s true, but I am untroubled
I made no promises otherwise that
I can recall
Allow me to stagger
To stumble along
banging my toes
against the stones
It’s okay
Falling forward is
the only way
we unteachable
writers
will ever
reach
truth

The Thing About Mustard

It is impossible

Apparently

to have an errant
mustard squirt without
collateral damage
This substance is
Quantum Theory
in practice
Everywhere
at the same time
Appearing
wherever you look
Put on gloves to
clean it up and
somehow
it will be on your elbow

Quite tasty on ham though

Call It What It Is

The common cold is
improperly monikered
More apropos is
The Whore Virus
It will bed down with
anyone in town or the
whole lot at once
Sucking the color from
folk’s faces
leaving them
violated
spent
wasted
and it’s shameless
“Who’s next?” it asks
Not a tinge of regret

Process

My poems are polaroids
of uncertain quality
First the
bright flash of an
idea in my mind
accompanied by a
faint burning odor
A carbon cell expiring
Then I wave my pen
through the air
impatiently
Eager
to see
what develops
on the page

Tennessee and Me

It was a cheap motel
Best Western maybe
My folks liked those
We were down in
Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Their go-to vacation
destination through the
mid-seventies and the room
had a balcony overlooking
nothing that I can recall
I can still see dad sitting
out there smoking
In shorts
An item of clothing he abhorred
and never wore at home
It was like a Bigfoot sighting
He was briefly some mythical beast
but my fondest memories revolve
around eating
Breakfast specifically
Pancakes and syrup and sausage
and milk every morning
Living the dream
There was also a store
in town that had knives
and swords and oh how I
wanted a sword! In the end
a few cheesy trinkets from
Cherokee was the best this
budding Lancelot would get
And
there were bears
wandering
along the road through
the Smokies that I wanted
to get out and talk to but
wasn’t allowed
I’ll grant the wisdom in that
now
I didn’t see it then
Was sure we could be friends
Found some dinosaurs, too
A Dinosaur Land in fact
My cousin and I in
Polaroid shots buddied up
with a Triceratops

So long ago

A few years back I saw
that fires ravaged the town
Much of the place reduced
to smoldering embers

Like my memories