Thursday, December 01, 2016

Googling Myself

I am perhaps the 27th most
Famous Richard Epstein and only the 3rd
Best-known poet with that salubrious
Nom de poesie.  How disheartening, I
Clear on their cantos, they born with a goose
As close at hand as pablum, porpentines
And crows prêt-à-porter.  And some splice genes,
Those better RHEs, the clones with Sir
And MBE and Friend of Man, the rich
And many-Googled.  Some are just mistakes:
Confounded with RHEtoric syllables,
They pass for Baudelaire and silver swans
And anadiplosis—anadiplosis for
The bogus Epsteins, hidden in the stacks
Of South Dakota junior colleges.

Somebody found me yesterday who meant
Me and no other me: he wanted my
Personal appearance at his most grave
Conclusion.  I was one of 49
CCd, but I was all the RHE.
This John Smith will be carried to his last
By 6 John Smiths, strong men on either side,
And none a pasta critic for The Mail
But he: he gets a plot all to himself.
The squirrels will celebrate: see, they will say,
We never needed any special name.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Light Concludes in Lightning Bugs

When the sky was a vault, the stars were stuck

To the underside. We wished for luck
On falling decals. First the sun
And then the moon blinked off for fun,
Relit for entertainment. God
Was merciful, but very odd.

Grounded, alfalfa didn't care;
And cherries ripened in an air
Closer to home, where pigs agree
That slop is their theology.
The decals slipped and fell at night,
Yet there was no decrease of light.
Piercing terrestrial disguise,
We brought them home as fireflies.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Wells of Time

This will transport you to the elder times,

Fire like slabs of meat and smells so strong
They pound the air in dactyls. In a pinch
You can recite your “Please, Sir, send me home,”
There where the heart is, but no wolverines
Or kettles of boiling grease or water nymphs.
What would you give to have your teeth decay
Authentically, to wear a powdered wig,
To spread your plot with nightsoil, or to fetch
A fair price on the open market? Home
Is what you looked like when you were a boy;
But now you’re not. Now you could almost stay
Old as the hills when hills were young, and you
Were cold and muddy. Please, Sir, send me home.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

And a Happy New Year to You, Too

The year sheds skin and time and cash.
The firedrake burns down to ash
His habitation.  The road is clear
All the way home to Happy Year,

Coming soon.  With the proper friends,
Nobody notices when it ends,
This derelict calendar.  The few,
The consequent, have naught to do

But watch the helicopters tow
The End behind them as they go
West, of course, and into the spring,
Where next year's lark prepares to sing.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Word Problems

Let’s say you had 2 monkeys and a fox,

7 bananas, and an ATV,
Or maybe a rowboat, and a ski chalet.
How many trips before you fall asleep,
Dreaming of Mr Dinkum’s science test
And the atomic weight of Super String?
Give up? One monkey’s grey, the other locked
In Booneville, where he learned the iron rule.
The fox clears out the tikihut and leaves
Scat on the rec room floor in thorns and thetas.
Then you remembered Mr D was dead,
Shot by his wife in 1983
For messing around in Chem Club Lab. The fox
Is wily, and you never stood a chance.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Wet Work


They are not of the state.  They homestead here
Privately, adjunct piddling field of corn
Too shiny to be spent on ethanol.
Deprived of pensions, with a family tree
Ruined by mountain pine beetles and burned,
Not for the fuel, neither for decoration,
Their saints declared fictitious, they accept
That they are spooks, discharged without a mandate
Or ammunition. Yet they hone their knives,
They oil their sheaths, in case the Lord should find
Them home at the last, stalked in their empty yards.
They scan reflexively. The gate is shut
Because it squeaks, as useful as a song
To keep raptors at large, repelling goons
And toothless hitmen, hired by the day.
Don't never write down nothing, they were taught,
Though mostly they ignore what they were told.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Poem Unrequested

The mice knew first, the crickets and the small
Wrens, who muted their music in respect.
The Bigguns had no reason to expect
A coming, first or second, so they all
Went to the circus, laundry, or the mall,
To buy some smoke detectors could detect.
And then they bought a family to protect.
The beetles sang, We shan't shut up till Fall.

Somewhere the news was posted. In a paper
Of general circulation, someone read:
Death shall have no dominion, being dead;
But he was only someone, not a shaper
Of big opinion. Big opinion heard
Interruption and said, Shut up that bird.