Fisheye

The moon is a fisheye
peering through a rosebush puzzle.
I had never considered
looking for you up there.

I still have a few roses
and it is late October;
it doesn’t seem odd
to see your eye falling
patiently through
the clouds this evening.

It is not so strange
for me to cast
my bad luck
to an Autumn wind
already full
of brittle leaves.

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Premonition

The Wild-mouse and Funhouse.
We rode in the Hammer’s caged
compartment
with nausea.

Around us,
wasp-nests
of edible pink cotton
flowered
out of many fists.
The circular gallop
of impaled steeds
pumped color up and down,
while a recorded organ
ground giddy-up harmony
into the crowd.

Boys with flung arms
snapped toward
pyramids of lead
milk-bottles;
stacked under shelves
lined with overstuffed
animals.
Their undeveloped
men drove miniature cars,
sparked and bumping
in the board-wooden shade;
they somehow, seemed shinier.

Duets of laughter
and regurgitated screams.
Gloria,
with ringlets
soaked in shallow
cups of collar bones.
Your knees,
then ankles met,
bent the calves to pigeoned toes,
elipsed the air with legs
that bowed and formed
the shape of a long heart.

Our braced mouths,
metal-toothed and two
lycra trainer-bras
supporting flat-chested
potential;
we were unacquainted
with the moon’s womb-
blood.

Carnie hotdogs and snow cones,
the funnel cake looped
through each girlish
gut knew
that this really was
all there would ever be.

Just Gone Blue

Where are you blue?
Caught up in the noonday altitude,
capsized in a comma,
rung through the jagged
edge of a bluebell.
Are you rotten with azure,
bruised by the brisk air,
moving with a glacier, clapped
under a cobalt minor scale
the color of rain.
Riding an indigo’s
night shade
with Bessie
Smith and Bobby
Bland,
burned
in a sapphire’s flame.
Squawking back
through a Steller’s Jay
bill, puckered on an early
huckleberry. Have you
turned around to turquoise,
found your coy in teal,
or maybe just gone,
blue.

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”

 

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 engineered
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.