Atlantic – A Poem

 

Atlantic

Holiday in an Atlantic state
of mind.

1979

A lost year

I cannot remember
those flushed moments
of tenderness.

Oceanic innocence
naked in the sand and silver wrapped.

Retribution quaked
1948
Beechnut Drive.

Holly lived

Quietly
with parents who smoked
too much
on the back porch.

Orange fluttered in the pit of her heart.

Random billowing waves of nausea
left me
bitter and resentful.

Crooked salty breeze twisting
fire
slipped over the dunes.

A matchbook
dance in an Atlantic
romance.

Maple Love – A Poem

Daniel removes all subtlety from the proposition.
“You’re a God-fearing American
so I know I can trust you,” he says.

Zola is on the couch next to me.
The flavor of her ankle,
so close and teasingly exposed,
draws my imagination and shortens my breath.

“Don’t believe in dreams,” she tells me
in her rosemary marmalade voice.
“They are all lies, you know.”

But I don’t know.
All I have left are the shadows of an illusion that once
was real
to me.

“Where did you hear this?”

“Daniel.”

“Fuck Daniel. And fuck his American God.”

“Zola dear,” Daniel chuckles and snorts,
“restrain yourself. Our guest is flustered.
Here my friend a drink,” he tempts me
with his locust hands extending me a glass. “A drink.
Yes, we have big plans. For you, for us.
Zola please?”

But Zola ignoring his demands
stretches out her leg so
her toes
touch mine.
“Would you like to play with me?
We can be children again
together
and you can collapse on my cherry stone
my maple love.”

A sleepy ragtime chills the room.
I mistake it
for the onset of winter.

A Soul in the Rafters – A Poem

A Soul in the Rafters

Ground floor and the service attendant passes his time
out to the incoming guests
with a wink.
They are all contributors to an excellent society.
They donate to the foundation.
And the world will be made
more perfect
for them.
There is a global erosion in literary competence.
Apparently.
It is the main course
of discussion
for the dinner being held tonight.

Do you have any good reading materials, M?
I would prefer periodicals.
Oh, but that’s right. My soul is in the rafters, and the elevator
has long
been out of commission.
I wonder at the marvel of the movement of bodies.
Or a body. Or nobodies.
It is all dependent on my mood, really.
And the flavor of the drink.

Oh M, why do your lips tremble at the grotesque words?
Yes, we have a long and hazy day ahead of us.
Not bright.

Just hazy.

 

Relics – A Poem

New life yet what was found
but clinging remnants.
Relics of the old guard.

My pretty
periwinkle of a wife
is stationed at the cross
road.

The air is charged
and static.

Mary brings me the news
with a smile on her lips
before the sun rise.
Turned inward
a mistake pulses
in me
and I confuse my own
artful collusion
for sanctuary.

A Justice asks me where
and I answer somewhere…
sometime
past.
Past the canal where the water
no longer flows
to when I was born.
It’s there that the bones
still remain
to blossom.

The Dreamed – A Poem

Coin under a bridge.

Three beer bottle caps.

A girl with a butterfly dress

slumbers in a prison of light.

Nightly fold the summer grass

where the winds met.

The word of god’s world rests

in a fiberglass crown

as the dreamed mask

sovereigned plight

with sparkling pockets

and cast off curios.

The Proximity of Reason – A Poem

 

The Proximity of Reason

I don’t see through the years any longer
the lines that once distinguished us.
A cavity in space that the flesh
in an unholy avarice drips into
yet never fills
distorts my sight.

There are no heroes here,
here where our histories have become confused,
no fey brethren camaraderie
to bend the world straight
and realign the constellations
in their image.

At noon I barter for supplies
with a martyr in the desert
whose lungs, too filled with the breath of life,
have become cancerous.
She recites abridged Shakespeare for soup
and under the sun the suffocating masses
cling to her voice,
the words,
lost in a hot toxic breeze,
drift pointlessly past them.

Change the discussion
to the proximity of reason
(for me, my dear, for me)
and instruct me on the secrets The Giants possessed
before they collapsed.
What price do we pay for the secure knowledge
of our own demise
gained as our sole inheritance
of their ruin?