Infectious Youth (A fond tribute)

Eternally bleeding from the knife-edge spaces
in the library stone-steps
with breadcrumb-words and apostrophes; donning academic dress and fraternal order,  bursts the young, firm mind, unkempt in cavalcades of originality, dine and dash texts combined with a self-assured intellectuality sponsored by apple curves and way.

Fenced in the wasteland, calculated by the Pound,
price of admission paid
(for future-former associations).
They come:
emanating spring and
dispersing a repetitive freshness
in the wake of their
passage with devastating
sprays of drive-by stanzas.

Herein they go,
rambunctiously dismissive, pleasantly delusional,
(life inebriated, weaves
and sideswipes experience).
Galloping effortlessly through,
with sweater, letter and currency.
Hobnobbing
robbing and rhyming
schooled and appealingly fooled.
An infectious energy and worse,
we find ourselves in the
precocious lines of their
reconstituted verse.

Esoterica

The shoal of night recedes, light licks the earthly shin
A trammeled inspiration begins to speak in hymn
Wet pencil lead to paper, thoughts fall like rising yeast
Fear is my retainer kept in scoured bin for waste
Words reflecting objects, adjectives inflicting depth
A penal code of execution, pause expression
pawning doubt…
To write as though unconscious or in hibernal dream
Soul expunged by symbol, impales emotive drone
Echo of somniloquy revivifying vellum
The id of self-extraction abstracted into realm
Noun speeding toward conjunctive, slides on extradited verb
A vehicle in mayhem, careening through blind curve
From talisman to halidom this topiary sings
A compact oratorio of participled scheme
Opera laced with orphery
Lampoon sullied in the potash
God festooned in oil and greed
Love camouflaged as witchcraft
Philosophy and vermin can populate a script
Mediocrity and prejudice pearls up on scribbled lip
The divine, releasing symphony
Freed verse in breach of plaster
A mother strokes her labored poem
“I’ve conceived another bastard”

 

Salt Monument

May’s water is breaking
but the months aren’t counted here
where markers lisp below
an aquamarine draped window’s vigil.

The gravestone display yard of Salt Monument
(Lake) burned-
out-in-the-middle of the sign
in a wounded neon’s sarcasm
causes me to pause a nocturnal wandering.

Here remorseless putty-hued
and desert rose markers
are granite molars
under a street lamp’s vernal cheek
still in a quandary from the quarry
relegated to a show-pony status
unable to commemorate.

A woman’s song
drifts through it all
in vitreous harmotome
from a living room
somewhere down the hill
to the magnetic gravity
of this corner
taking up the short hours
shaking off the pull.

Great Basin Plants

Regardless of the hour,
concrete culverts funnel
their noxious fumes upward
in unapologetic clouds.
They canker
the stretch marks
of great basins,
where the Bonneville ranges
heave like hard-rock breasts
and salt flats
rest between them.
They seem
to have absorbed
the curious tears of Lot’s wife
long ago when she harked back
to rough-scrabble elevations.

Even the Bristlecone pine
imperceptibly snake
their chapped roots
down through basalt fissures
and twist into the altitude
in tortured angles,
dismember the eons
before Pony Express riders
galloped across sprawling
high desert vales
beating out
a common time signature,
winding through the Four-winged
Saltbush,
dodging the spiny Shadscale.

Alkaline expanses
tickled by the wheeze
of gingham skirts and spun
wagon wheels, easily blanched
the broken frames of the dead
to accommodate
their deserted efforts.

More recently,
salt processing plants and toxic
waste incinerators are long-mile
neighbors up wind
from the army depot,
peppered truck stops
and the copper mine slag-heaps.

Rinsed in a halogen-sapphire light
after the sun gives up the ghost,
monolithic smokestacks bolk
a steady exhaust.
It diagonals
and dissipates in secreted
melancholy burnings
offered up to the isolated
and inhaled by the sparkling
seven sisters, reduced
to semi-precious stones
worn above a vacancy.

Underneath it all,
radioactive wastes
buried inside vinyl-lined landfills
live out their quiet half-lives.

Pelican

He stands, body of an immense, whitewashed
soup tureen supported by mustard
bamboo limbs jutted
out in twin tangerine webs
of lizard-skin fans.
Heaped hanging dishes of raw
Indonesian black rice along with the white
jasmine variety
against his sides, are folded wings
below his peeled, boiled egg
of a head dotted with opposing eyes.
They swivel, long terminated
on a neck of fat albino-copperhead
snaked-circumference
almost bent into a figure eight
while he sleeps with his acrobatic
nape against his back.
His bill is an arm-length
by a four-finger width
of a marigold funnel,
intersecting his frontal view
over blizzards of breast feathers.
This concludes in a single-beak talon
sissoring a three gallon collapsible pouch.
All skeletal hollow inner workings are enginneered
to absorb the tension hidden in an aquatic surface.
He is unaware of the myths
of self sacrifice assigned to him
and spun by our need to elevate behavior.
Folklore doesn’t affect his flight or fishing
nor does the symbolism of blood and water.