Archive for July, 2009

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The Petrified Forest

July 30, 2009

Petrified Forest

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Portrait of the Poet as Cartoon Super-Hero

July 28, 2009

portrait of the poet

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Three Poems for Comic-con

July 28, 2009

Poem 1

Mike the Jedi *

guards his post
behind the scuffed & dented counter
of Lee’s Drive Thru Liquors
eying customers shaggy & shambolic
as anything found in Mos Espa

he never knows
when a customer’s slight-of-hand
will snatch a curiously small
bottle of cheap gin or tequila
off shelves cluttered & dusty

but his Jedi sense is tingling
& his mind-tricks come into play
you need a bag of ice for that
you desire tonic water, on sale today
you want a receipt

Mike’s eyes are blood-shot old
& his clothes reek of cigarette smoke
like the store’s worn down carpet
but he’s a Jedi in his heart, & you can see it
tattooed across the his knuckles

& as you leave Mike at closing time,
pale receipt in pocket, he calls to you
there’s another path
another way
this is not the life you’re looking for

Poem 2

Secret Squirrel Afternoon Cartoon

I would pay attention to you
but for this unstable sub-atomic particle whispering
nonsense in my ear and its rule of thumb
is always pull the bottom atom out from the wall
to make it fall and how
could I ignore that? A cartoon quark careening through
sandwiches and wood paneling and the smooth canal
of an inner ear crusading for chaos on an infinite level
a level level where all particles are the same only different
a singing quark a dancing quark who wants to please
with all its heart its smashing heart
its breaking heart breaking everything that matters
apart all because only because a clever squirrel
a line drawn squirrel drew a line around a column a wall
of words in the dictionary: quark — a hypothetical
a theoretical a theatrical subatomic particle … poof.
So it was
never really here. That’s the miracle
of modern science:
television. You were saying?

Poem 3

If We Argue Long Enough

do our pronouns become confused and jump
off the ledge of logic
but bounce unhurt undeterred
off the shiny tan hoods of our eyes

do we become an animated couple
rabbit in drag and hunter out of season
or is it small-brained road-runner outsmarting
snarky coyote swallowing the dynamite
of his own pride

if we go on long enough will we become rococo
doodles in the margin of a magazine
bought years ago on a rainy afternoon
when I was some one still unknown
when personal wars were still operatic
the stuff of cartoons
—————————————-
*poem originally appeared in Dreams & Nightmares, May 2009, No.82

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Four Carlitos . . .

July 25, 2009

4 carlitos

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White Sands Gibbon with Boy, White Sands, New Mexico

July 20, 2009

white sands gibbon

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Three Poems of Lunar Musing

July 20, 2009

Poem 1

Walking on the Moon*

Tell me, are there many heavens above the moon? — Marlowe

God wept fire.
the devil spat out the moon.
Angels and demons, and you

toss a bit of silver into the plate. You
know the saints swallowed fire.
You know sinners walked on the moon.

You know the pearl in the Virgin’s ear
is the moon. She knows angels and demons
know you. And you know the taste of fire.

She walks with you across the moon. Through God’s fire
angels and demons and you,
spin and stumble and swoon.

Poem 2

The Pull

The galleons rise, prows moonward; buoyant bodies
sway in the sanguine waters with each contraction
of the heart. In every vessel, a captain

unrolls charts, calculates the distance
between us. The light from their lamps
threads through the portals, links mooring

ship to ship. The constellations they draw
differ from person to person: the howling
woman, the man of glass, the laughing dog.

The tide turns inside each of us.
Anchors raised, the ships drift from shore.

Poem 3

Phases of the Moon

plate of light
search light slowly
panning the night sky criminal
intentions
hiding behind the dark side

*

woman’s ovum
distant secret silent
astronauts like sperm flying
trying to get there first
to plant their flag

*

cold coin of commerce
magnified by urban atmospheres

in the mountains much less valuable
than the North Star

*

dog’s howl carved
out of rock
thrown into the firmament like a frisbee
dog’s can’t jump
that high

*

mother’s left breast
grey-white and nippleless
perfectly round Picasso tit
ran out of milk
before we were born

*

pearl from the necklace
your lover broke

the one bead
you couldn’t find

*

pale baby face
newly born out of warm wet darkness

the sun the exultant parent
pride too bright

for tender infant eyes
better to keep them shut

*

New moon is no moon.

How can there be no moon?
Moon is the period
at the end of every thought.

*

cold and spherical as the snowball
hitting you in the back of the head

*

world’s pet chameleon
changing colors to better blend in
with our dreams

*

grain of sand
to Earth’s sand flea

planet crawling with life
can’t live without water

moon’ll still be the same
after oceans evaporate
———————————————————
* Previously published in The Moon, Vol.2, Issue 5, May 2004

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Yum! (Ernie’s Squid)

July 14, 2009

yum!