Monday, August 02, 2021

The Girl In The Red Honda

Knights fell a lot.  And there they lay,
Lumps on the grass or in the mud,
Their armor like a suit of clay,
Rescuing maidens, giving blood.
The dragons chuckled, and the maidens
Planted cherries in their gardens.

Cherries ripe, but very wrong
For knights encased. Whenas they ride,
They sing, but every note of song
Is lost to echoes deep inside.
The ladies listen, if they can
Desist from planting pits for man.

We leave our dragons in their caves.
We watch the maidens drive away.
The knight are cool, but agile thieves
Thrive in the distance. Dawns the day,
And knights are bold and old and gone,
Cherries ripe in the subtle dawn.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Algernon Swinburne Dreams of Going Out

This appeared in Angle.

The king is dead. Oh, no, he's not. He's resting,

What with his busy week, dissolving monks

And roasting papists with a garlic clove

And celery stalk apiece. He raised the tax

On gingham. His monopoly on dust,

More valuable than mail, he auctioned off

to the new Chancellor of the Campanile.

The belles, the belles: they're gathering out front,

Leaning against portcullis rails, in wigs

As high as cotton candy and as pink.

Teased and tormented in the cages above

The gate, the entertainment, curled like shrimp,

Moans, and the would-be guests whistle and stomp.

The ball begins with Taffelmusik. Bits

Of quarter-note-shaped ice bob in the punch

Just long enough to clarify the king's

Intentions: he would dip the band in tar,

The perfect pitch a torch unto the blind,

And all be spared who buy a savings bond.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Another Cup of Tea


The Nazis drove through Paris,

Elvis got fat and died.

Babe Ruth was supplanted by Maris.

The President lied.

    I have survived a number of shocks.

You were young, you were beautiful, you said

My heart is a halo of flame.

I haven't heard if you are still dead,

But no one knows your name.

    Backwards reel the clocks.

Our trees are green again this year.

The drainpipes drain to the sea.

Somebody pops a Mexican beer,

But love was your cup of tea:

Till the stars collapsed and the sun burned out

And everyone learned beyond a doubt

    Love is a plate of cold rocks.

Monday, July 19, 2021

You & Me & Rain on the Roof


When you were young, I was already x.

My son is y, but you are only z.

You glow in tones designed to charm and vex

Our pants off. As mine are. Here. Now. My bed.

What does that make me? One decrepit drooler,

A humbert in his head? You are a bird

Of paradise. Our years, marked like a ruler,

Measure me for subtraction. Word by wordplay

I find me wanting. Wanting you, but wanting

Not to be young again. To have to be

Feathered like you. A tit. I should be planting

Saplings, so someone else can have a tree.

It is raining. It is raining. I'm relieved

In what we are not doing. In the night

Paradise is a roost. I am deceived

Because you are not here. Take heed. Take flight.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Rising Expectations


Given some rope, they've torn the statues down
To piss on legendary heads, the groins
Bedecked in amaryllis and ablaze.
(Who would have guessed that amaryllis burns,
And colorfully?) The shoppers fill their carts
With freebies. (Who'd have guessed they wanted phones
Far more than sandwiches?) The songs they sing
Are short on lyric wordplay, long on scat.
We made no plans to emigrate, but have
Our havens in the hinterlands, where treats
Are plastic shoes on Sundays, where delight
Is puddings made of pigs and doughty men
Pray to the forest just because it's there.
(Who knew that gods had green cards or that wolves
Wanted our wives for bon-bons in the smoke?)

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Astronomy: An Introduction


What if the stars are singing like the bats,

Too high a song to hear, but full of clues,

Like whodunit and why I dream of girls,

Too good for me, I never even met?

Maybe it’s all the same, and what they say

Who say such things, one nation, full of bonds

And stock responses, they who never saw,

Though bangled to the max, a stellar bat

Absconding with your name and your address,

Home to a star part gas and all white flame.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

This House No Longer

 This appeared in Poetry Proper.

This is a house without chalcedony

Or Andamooka opals, and it deems

Its seizure insecure. Hawks veer away

To overfly somebody else's house.

This house is what it is, is what it is.

You want to meet us? We share a single bath,

Not privacy. Our calendar misquotes

In scarlet letters Make your life sublime

Use Rapid Sands. We never leave the room

For grave emergencies. Our motto is

A tramp stamp on the lady of the house,

Her fine embroidered sacroiliac,

Hunker Down, which seems not to overstate,

And understatement is a way of life.

Why, there is a bone here after all; a mole

Has left his skull, a warrior's helmet toy,

For Spike to crunch and play with. This is a house

Without a porphyry tub or sisal strings

To anchor it, and someday it will leave.