Tuesday, February 28, 2012

from Days of Our Lives

15
The chemlab flash fired in a sunburst
of eyebrows and steam, the alarms claiming
the end of class, the sprinklers playing April,
and happy singees coughing into the sunlight.
Learning seeps in, pore-wise, or explodes in-
appropriately in the absence of
loco parentals. So under dormers,
beneath graduation gift patchwork quilts,
the love of clear-cut classes multiplies
beyond reason, without regard, ungraded,
and altogether traditionally.
If by the next day the glass is swept up,
the puddles all expunged, the windows boarded,
youth blooms eternal, for a little while.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

from Days of Our Lives

13
At the hoity-toity entrance to the George
Cinq, a grand guy, looking George his own
self, opens the door, and bows me inside,
past Ms Deneuve or Ms Bardot or someone,
a U-Drive sabled hooker, as it happens.
The desk sneers at my jeans and cowboy boots,
just as he ought, unmottled by abuse
in perfect idiomatic French. He waves
a boy over--this creaking, spavined geezer
buttoned up like an organ-grinder's monkey.
He barely lifts my beat-up leather gladstone.
The concierge sneers, but blushes as I pass,
Bardot attentive to the suite assigned.
I hear this on the Middle Fork of the Salmon,

14
the yarning boatman bitching that his degree
in fluvial geomorphology
wasn't worth a sou in Paris, grinning
that he'd said, "sou." Explaining to a dude
that this entire valley had been dug
as part of a WPA project by
starving painters and that the river flowed
under the ocean, hooking up with China,
he said that the worst was, when she finished up
and smoothed her francs into her reticule,
she wanted to discuss her pension plan
and whether ECUs would appreciate
against the yen. Them Frogs, he said, and spat
his plug against the current, steering right.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Google's quote of the day,

from Flannery O'Connor: Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.

Thank you, Ms O'Connor.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Among School Children

I was invited here to speak
About the labyrinth of art,
The darkest places right in here
(I tapped my fist upon my heart),
The places where the adverbs seek
The mortises which disappear.

I haven’t got a thing to say.
(They didn’t look a bit surprised.)
All I can do is write and read
And keep my heartbreak supervised.
That lights, but can’t provide, a way
To where the joists and tendons bleed.

Monks are men as incomplete
As soldiers, chaste of blood or soul.
How long must half a world compete
With half a world? How long the toll
Of promise must deception meet?
We are dying to be whole.

Questions? (But they were all asleep,
Each head upon a floppy stem.)
Someone? You in the back, perhaps.
(But I was not disturbing them.)
I was that public man who’d keep
Impinging on their private naps,

Dreams of the Dairy Queen, the Slut
Of Winter Park or Hollywood.
Dreams of the Motorcycle Man,
With 6-pack abs, and far too good
For others. Every eye had shut.
I say, The heart’s an empty can,

Drained of a dram and pissed upon.
(Somebody heard one word I said
And tittered.) I’ll be going soon.
When all of you are good and dead,
Be grateful for a Denver dawn,
And praise the stars which ring the moon.

Later the secretary sent
A thank-you note they each had signed
(Though printed with the class PC).
Ensconced in my establishment,
I was embarked on sonnetry,
And books brought other books to mind,

And other books. I had not told
The class about the unblent yolk
Or dancing trees. I had not said
That art was not like growing old,
And no one ever got the joke,
And I too late, and likely dead.

Fair play it was, and just as well.
Brave lads who never shed a tear
And girls repining for a glance,
They speak in tongues I cannot hear
The lessons they were made to tell.
I write when I have half a chance.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

If you have to choose

Well, yes, you can find me on Facebook, and I'll be happy to note your favorite movies and relationship status; but if your time is limited, and you have to choose, visit me here. Here be poems.