Category: Poetry

Poem #110

How Bill Clark took his coffee with elephants…

Sitting at my grandparents,
sitting in a herd of elephants,
are my grandfather and I;

the sitting room is in silence,
and all who’ve sat there are tense,
tense about this difference,

this difference:
how this and other school days will die.

The stone man speaks…

Would you’ve believed me;
I climbed Purina Dog Chow,
I climbed up their tower,
climbed up the circus ladder,
to string the Christmas lights
from the metal Christmas tree
above Richmond;
would you’ve believed me?

I went into the military,
I became a marine
when I was only seventeen,
thinking it was cool,
and never finished high school,
and what did they teach me?
I could break a neck with my legs. Seriously,
what did they give me?
They gave me enough wire
to choke the throat of my enemy,
the throat of my enemy in Germany,
and a small knife no one could see,
in an attempt to retrieve
what they might say,
and would you’ve believed?
I wasn’t to return alive,
would you’ve believed me, then?

And would you’ve believed,
were I to tell you,
I flew
over  Mount Fujiyama
before the bomb fell
on Hiroshima,
would you believe me, then?

I’m no hero, really,
really, the black-sheep of the family,
when you compare me
to my brother Bob or brother Don
Bob worked in sales and Don has all sorts of money

[or so the story
was sadly told].

Be a good boy,
and look after your father
[he said, quite emphatically];
he smokes too many cigarettes.

And yet, with many regrets,
that’s the final fantastic words
I heard from him, besides directives
or orders.

I asked upon clarity
when I spoke with my father,
to see if all of this could be.
Could this be my grandfather?

Remember your grandfather drank
[he drank coke and whiskey];
and when he returned, from oversea,
he slept for a year
in bed with a machete,
it scared me,
it scared your grandmother,
it scared my sisters.
I would fight him
to leave the kitchen
when he wasn’t sober
I’d hate to fight him, you see,
he was the only father to me,
not your Grandpa Davis–
he never took care of me–
it was Bill Clark that
taught me.

And yet, there was I, angry
when my father and I
went to pick you up from the bar,
went to pick you up from the hospital
and sat by you when you drank by me in high school
interrupting school, reading and papers, just to say hi,
angry how you left grandma,
yet tirelessly required both her and pa
to clean the shit-stained quarters
when you would leave us all.

And yet, I remember
you took your coffee with cream
and two spoons full of sugar,
or that’s how you instructed ma.

By your urn, at Williamsburg,
not far from Martindale fishing lake,
where we ate famous recipe chicken
and fished from the shore, in fact
just across the street,
I cannot cry
because of ambilify,
yet my heart does shake.

The sergeant sounds the order
for the gun squad to fire,
and on the triggers
the fingers
gently squeeze.

Poem #109

Insomnia…

1 April 2017

A successful sunset: the switches of lights sound
a summer superfluity of cicadas.

The band of a penumbra,
that pushes the curtain aside,
stirs a stygian shade from slumber
into strengthening sight.

His eyes inquire,
Is the interior
illuminated
indigo and ivory
?

Indurate,
toward idleness,
their interrogations
issue forth, irritating
the inconspicuous
image of Arcady,

till Dante is installed
in their intersections
of illustrations

in an impossible injection
to initiate any interesting inversion
of insomnia.

The bed has been the base
of many a manic scenario,
and a likeness of my beauty performing fellatio
does nothing to cure this case.

There is a list of tasks that tease
the weary head: go to the bank,
clean the kitchen sink,
wash the loose laundry,
pay this bill by five,
all so this sensitive skull will live.

The ceiling is confused with the floor
in several indistinct flashes of feeble
flutters from eye lids.

Poem #108

The fallen star: the dead rock burning still…

1 April 2017

She walks right through the door of no real lives,
and Stella that she is, holds ‘Phil’s hands’ old veins
tight in her own; they hop the bars; the day
they visit mimics Sundays, school children play house
in the road: the school lights are off. I need
the whiskey from the bottom shelf; We are portly,
praising Bacchus, dancing with fauns, another shot drops
down my throat, and  I  think, what  if  Beatrice
had lived
,  when old drunkard sucks on my love’s
bosom, and yet, somber while she snores next
to me in soft flannel sheets, I dread the
last word: open. And yet,  I wish to watch.

Poem #107

Nathaniel Anthony Richmond…

Stella slides under sheets:
and yet I’m her satyr,
standing sincere
by and by, at the threshold of the door,
hearing her sigh
(hearing her slipping deeper into sleep),
I am sick, sad I was
slow with seconds.
Little the strategist of Ulysses,
if death was pale, protruding
the depths of the sea
by the pillars of Heracles,
drowning with dear dudes of the deck,
I’d often wondered, would I breach
the waves, would I crest, and would I sparkle
for the sun, then ebb into the beach,
and would my wreck reach toward the smeared specter
of Calypso, yet she is striding toward a failure of a fish?
Far from feeble foundations
and negative conclusions of science,
I wouldn’t know how to breathe ether,
and yet addictions and doctors fall
till there is a new wizard ball.
And all which vex,
confuse and perplex,
push cross a circuit in current
where troubadour and lady succumb and devour
their itch in an actress or actor,
bare in bathos of burlesque, for each lonely stranger
seeking their pleasure,
pointing and clicking in comforts of home
on captured convulsions of special interests,
till I realize my reflection in the mirror.
O how desire pinches and tickles
to see me submit, to see me writhe in agony,
till the loons and crickets decrescendo
into larks and cicadas,
and I put my horns on a limb.
O what wolf I have become,
beginning my morning by the moon,
seeking a red cape of a nymph.
Mise en scene: primordial soup
streams onto a begging tongue.
Taking my bothers
into my own fingers,
yet there must be more
than this incontinence and ease,
Tannhauser en Las Veneris watches Venus weep
riding a knight, enslaved till she knows
he is hers, here and there after;
it is not the same as before the crusades,
a good shepherd attends a wake
of a relative faun,
and yet the romance remains in madness,
never as serious as Beatrice bled.
The romance remains in madness,
till she wakes and I rest my head.
The romance remains in madness.
She tastes the salt of my ear.

Poem #106

Bible belt…

Viento del Sur.
Moreno, ardiente…

from “Veleta”, by Federico García Lorca

Richmond, Indiana, 20 March 2017

Wind of the West.
Porcelain, perspiring,
you dry into my flesh,
coaxing you into secretion
of lustrous
styles, clustered
with red flowers.

In a station of canines.
Instinctual, writhing,
one is lost to his or her scent
of Riesling
wine, clustered
with red flowers

Hunkered down in wool,
beneath a slanted sun,
chilled and craving,
you remind me, the season:
spring, and staring,
late into March,
Yet we are not walking,
and yet you are gone,
you are accompanying me
to the library,
Lorca and lust,
one in lonesome song.

Biding the hours
partners serve
their separate labors,
or wasting time, waiting
by wooden shelves, searching
archives for answers
til romance will
rinse off her hands,
untie off her apron,
and rest the red, coloncue locks
on flannel prints.

Yet why obsess, stanzas,
in clusters of red flowers?
The silver maple stands
symbol of hunting,
symbol for the chase,
symbol for inspiration,
androgynous, man and woman,
imagining, recursive, ex, betwixt his pecks
and my anus cheeks, betwixt each aureola,
betwixt her labial lips.

Why is pleasure wrong?
And yet sensual syrup streams
from sex glands, strings
in sinful phrases,
bestial and prison,
cardinal and covetous,
impure for pages
bound in dictionaries,
I have cum in climax
in needful nerves,
prodding and pulling,
man and woman;
this cuts chords
off the cold, in awe
of the pain.

Poem #105 (revision…)

It takes more than hunger, to gather food, and bring it home…

at Family and Social Services Administration, 7 July 2015

O jumped-up grief, god!
how you starved vast penniless
for poor performance,

as their teacher, yet,
what was the fallacy of
your thesis? Your lecture?

You would speak latin,
post hoc ergo propter hoc,
what was their experience?

Students of bureaucracy
forewent food there was to eat,
if they neglected to turn

in their papers, so welfare was,
employees and customers,
giving and seeking service,

when ideal money was scarce.
Friends forgot how to till fields,
and yet our relatives watched,

watched how labor camps evolved
weaving gold into pockets
from sweat of the pinched,

into the lazing rich wool,
it’s global economics,
yet it is and isn’t yours

a matter of repressed past,
hell, it gives psychiatrists
a reason to live.

One prayer for sustenance
this woman outgoes.
She wears crimson adhesive.

Out of the haiku,
regret stacks upon regret
in the summer heat–

but if you look outside these
windows, you find what?
I learn this in the form of

seasons from Japan:
regret of the rain.
The feeling is in the clouds:

their color of gray,
without answers, how silence
stayed to fill the day,

the day and the night.
When we read into old cards
we gave questions to ancients.

The Queen of Swords knows this disturbance:
the current from begging to labor, to hold
a symbol of fortune, we, the people, will work till we are old;
we worship at the temple of a bank, where this god finds repose.
This can’t be the final thought on prosperity–
the ulcer my stomach shows.

One proletariat–one drone from a hive for the bee–
stands at confession for her bourgeoisie.
This other shrine–erect to proclaim the regime’s charity–
would pay her grocer; yet, today, today is not the day,
the receipt not stamped, the food and cart will stay.
Have you ever been the butt-end of the checkout isle,
searching your pockets for a quarter, when you knew very well,
it takes more than hunger to gather food, and bring it home?

Lords, lovers, over her shoulder, you abandoned her.
How coldly she faces toward the past,
obliterated to her left, her face becomes laundry on a line, cast
as wet and hanging. As a fetus, before we were born into the world,

yet without our empirical umbilical cords
to feed us, one and all, you have to fight for what you desire
at the counter with a cacophony and clash of swords.
A stranger listens to her words.

Food, the lady needs food.
Anger swells, sweats, and cries from her pores.
The colors are blue, red, yellow, black, and orange
decaying, decaying.

As she faces the right, or the future,
the conversation goes south.
Her wallet is projectile.
It almost hits a stranger in the mouth,

sitting at seats facing the counter.
She is a child throwing stones.
She is starving. Who deserves to live? Who deserves to die?
Who decides who eats?

Who decides who starves?
What decision needs be made?
Whom is the judge?

As well, without the food I seek, without the food you seek,
the stomach burns with no more words to speak.
The acids from their stomach leak.
My vomit is blood, my vomit is bleak.

Poem #104

Unconscious desire…

All I could see from where I stood…

from “Renascence”, by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Each thing was seen from there I lie
in bed: the cloth to hide from thy
hot light, the mop that asks, “How strong
is that?”, by toys not for the young,
then, seek neath eyes for guilt to find
the crime is sleep that reels from grind
to fall in sheets, to wake in sweat,
from zeal of Jones’s miss in fret,
each thing was seen from there I lie
in bed: the itch of vice, mein sigh.

Across from such anxious objects,
I sat in chastity, suspects
in me that dance villainy mare
in whole, that try to cool, terror
in crescendo are lost in play,
all things were seen should stay,

yet, course, the ring is large, I scold,
years and years along in hands that hold.