Lying to the Yodler
Yes, the ski-lift enhances
your polished hollers.
Camping with the Xenophobe
After all this cacophony
and crowd—string of articulation
and character—I needed some
hermitage. Is he even here?
Exploring with the Welder
You’re always seeking out bridges, examining
how ore is made molten and hinged.
Tenuous arching makes me tense. I’d like
to lie in a field—see no steel in the sky.
i will (hopefully) be post-dating poems for the next long while and posting them. so scroll down before you abandon me. cheating is better than failure, right?
summertime is almost upon us. it will be a new form of analysis if i can write in seasons and not simply between.
Waltzing with the Visionary
When he stumbles, one can be sure
that he has momentarily left our
circle of senses. It must be tiring work.
I hold up his shoulders until he recovers.
Fantasizing about the Ukulele Player
Of course his fingers are lithe.
What really slays me, though,
are his heel-taps; the way he signals
me to tremble the tambourine.
Leaving the Telepath
It’s no longer a relief,
the unspoken. Every moment
my guilt engorges. Your wary
eyes are two wounded foxes.
Pleading with the Spelunker
Damn it. Put on your helmet and wetsuit,
you agoraphobe. Oh, will our anxieties
ever align? I claw inside the paint shed,
light-headed and nerved as you descend.
Star-Gazing with the Radiologist
He places the radiometer and readies his
angstroms. Bodies are always being penetrated,
he explains. By solar, direct or obscure? I ask.
What about gammas releasing? And the diffusion?
Rebuffing the Quarterback
What did you expect, some long-term
strategy? A pass and a goal? Sorry sir,
this ain’t no dynasty—I’ll watch
but I’ll never play. Stop calling me.
Missing the Painter
You left your linseed and raw umber;
a smear of ultramarine on the sink’s drain.
Each morning I frame the scene and prep
the canvas. But you’re not coming back.
Questioning the Occultist
But what of my expected birth date versus
the actual hour? And where Orion emerged?
At first the alchemy was enough . . . Now
my eyes are not sated by sparkling things.
Seducing the Naturalist
No polish on these toes,
no plucked eyebrows here.
Think of me as your thistle,
worry-lined and hair tangled.
here we go, catching up. thank you, t.h., for encouraging the art of the four line poem. although this probably isn't what you had in mind.
Riding with the Motorcyclist
It’s not really the leather, though I admit
it helps. Neither is it the chrome. I purr
on the back of this ’74 Honda, arms stiff,
cheeks rouged and wind-whipped.
Kissing the Literalist
No, I didn’t mean
dance or give-take.
I meant green apple.
I meant lighted window.
Arguing with the Kiln-Stoker
Fine, I know nothing of real heat
and my clothes aren’t coated
in coal-dust. But sometimes I
need to walk in the snow alone.
Handling the Juggler
He is liable to start without warning.
Pick your public appearances carefully.
Do not over-excite. Scheduled maintenance
necessary. Rhythm and frequency may vary.
Cohabitating with the Icthyologist
First, just a Bluegill. Then some Shiners.
Next a Darting Quillback. But honey,
this African Lungfish won’t do,
and I never really wanted the waterbed.
Abetting the Headhunter
I thought soul-matter would be less opaque.
He labels the tannins, teaches me to shrink—
but won’t let me track or trap. He says the community
is at stake. In bed I burrow under several pillows.
Vacationing with the Glass-Blower
I want a tan, he said, I’d like to surf. I should’ve known
when I found lathes in the trunk. While I scan
the turf for sharks he wanders the shore
in cover-alls, filling small vials, lighting fires.
Drinking with the Francophile
You always order the chardonnay,
sniffing at my flute of sparkling wine.
What’s so bad about Napa? Mon Dieu,
I think to you but your fantasies are over-seas.
so there has been a lack, a dearth, a falling-off-the-wagon. but, my lovelies, today is my birth-day, so please be patient while i climb back on.
Excising the Exterminator
Some creepers can’t be poisoned;
some crawlers scuttle under sills.
Sir, please evacuate your sprays.
I have my own brand of fisticuffs.
Admiring the Ditch-Digger
He jack-hammers all day, refusing to explain
the holes. Even sleeping, I hear him sift gravel
in the back yard. For smuggling fossils? Burying Bibles?
My mute simply rinses his hands—oh, his hands!
Locating the Cartographer
I ducked into the store for some smokes and you
disappeared. Yes, I understand you found
and followed a fault-line—but this uncharted
territory’s too vast for your shoddy navigation.
Thumb-Wrestling the Bureaucrat
The only time I've won at sport,
ever. We writhe, wince and I
take home the dimes. He simply
has no head for small jousts.
are due. i'm playing catch-up. retroactively-dated ditties will be flung through the inter-ether late tonight.
Loving the Astronaut
You always return with your epidermis
sheening metallic. Must you insist
on eating ice-cream in bed? It's too much
for my medium-sized American heart.
By the Line of the Arch *
the Khan peer lowered
his sunset sovereign, one of talking that
every am erased.
Increase higher, balcony
eyes, the things when
(like zigzag sunlight here) only of the Phyllis,
deep as urchins.
blanket by them who
Adelma laid. Circular lines, interwoven oracle
of truly through Great.
Assemble dried such lathers,
base by two, that deepest
labile mists longer movement or of too. The sweat army,
from sacks withdraw
beggars by terrain,
(through emerged lairs)
like funerary harem on of together shape.
There arranged order,
built by true. Their been
load city, final street other of tried that cleaning as
arranging occasionally with
bric-a-brac: by true
lean lights pink alleys on, of those who pleasant
any trapped each nothing.
* Exercise based on Jackson Mac Low's Ridiculous in Piccadilly, using Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities.
Corydon, 1846 - 1965
I see you’ve arrived to appraise the latitude
of our light box. Well, sir, we’ve dove-tailed
planks for want of nails. When the stagecoach
comes from Steamburg, we load the handles
from our factory. Grist, too. There’s Ms. Marsh
who meanders daily by the river, gathering cattails
and arbutus, thistles and lady slippers. She presents
her bittersweet willows to the Good Templars
and Odd Fellows, murmuring, Typical name
for an enamored rustic. And here’s Mr. Tome who feeds
the wolf-hunters at the Griffen Hotel. Myself? I look
after the river-ice and arrange the annual ox roast.
Come morn we’ll go down to Woodbeck Grove.
What, you see no urgency in our slip show? Your eyes
betray dam-lust, dear sir—already I believe
you’ll wager our township for fierce watershed.
Notes from the Northern Lights Truckstop and Motel
I strike the dinger for a room, a book, and a beer.
For eleven days, I’ve been carrying my silver self
on my back. I think of your question (little else),
What is the difference between a rational fear
and an unfounded one? So I had to leave polar fires
oxidizing. Listen, I buried my camera in heather soot.
Perhaps I am tarnishing; still I play and then put
the cloth to my metal. My dear, the trills I desire
are simply to still my brain’s incessant, bleak
arpeggios. Polish does not suffice and of course
you washed clear. I tire of this lens-grainy sight:
the film that shows only the grimace of ignited
trees, withered and weathered. I request its source
stay unvoiced—your limbs cast the senses, oblique.
Dump truck, junked: round fenders, steel box.
Whittle the wheel-base and cut the cab. We tinker,
we toil. “Street legal,” commands the commissioner.
Tweak ‘til the plate reads Instrument of Animal Husbandry.
We weld and bolt, we glue and scrape. A marriage
of wheeling and gear. Radiator leak? Creek water.
all day. more hasty imperatives on their way.
You’ve entered the main reaction zone. Stay star-fixed. Even though Madder Lake’sin vogue this year, don’t worry—there’s no malachite in-sphere.Before rising, tether the wooden dragon.Wait for nautical twilight—Etaminwill flare; the lignite lantern will turn
the window goethite. You must hold there.
welcome to stephanie's attempt at national poetry writing month, or NaPoWriMo.