Saturday, June 28, 2008

3 Poems

A Leg I See

Before my eyes there is a leg.
It is my own leg, and it is marked
by mosquito bites.
They are red and itchy and protruding.

Strange how I feel it now and you do not, is it not?
Strange how my sensations are locked into myself
made especially for my brain
and my brain only.

Neurologists can explain it all in terms of
chemistry. Religionists have their own ideas.
Nevertheless I confess that this leg
is my leg, and it itches.

Paying for Music

One thing everybody can talk about is music.
We know songs that stir emotions
album covers that call up in the mind
a block of music, a set of time. We
love to hear that song on the radio - the old
one by the band whose name is somewhere
in our minds, tucked away.

And the sound of the needle scratching the vinyl-
just before the magic - the fuzz before
the daring feat - that anticipatory moment injects
squiggly feelings into our spines and necks - it joins
the savage and the conqueror in an embrace -
they start dancing, bobbing their heads,
wagging their butts.

Rhyming Poem # 5

I have a black hat.
I don’t know where it's at.
Maybe its in the closet.
By the way, what's a bozzet?
I've never heard of a bozzet before,
maybe it's a type of floor,
or door. Or a rock band that's hardcore-
or that part of the flick with the intestines coming out plus more gore.
Is it an economic outlook in which the poor are glor-
ified? or a trinket trolls adore? Or,
maybe a bozzet is a bit of lore
about a store that sells only a single apple core
(No, that last definition slash explanation was a bore. Ignore
it.) A bozzet must be a tiger.
- yes- exactly a tiger!
the spitting image, with matching DNA
A "tiger" (not the thing itself but the word signifying the thing) is common, paltry, cliché
any decent coloring book has one.
So let's call a tiger a bozzet.
Nay, rather, let's call a bozzet a bozzet!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

4 Poems

Out at Camp Raymond I’ve been reading a lot and writing in my journal. I found a poet I love. It’s Stephen Crane, author of The Red Badge of Courage. Here’s a poem he wrote that I really like:

In the desert

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter – bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.”


Isn’t that creepy awesome? It sounds mythic and huge.

Here are three poems that I wrote recently. This first one is influenced by Frank O’Hara, and it’s based on a true story.

Eating Bagels and Strawberry-Flavored Cream Cheese

This is a delicacy, you know?
munch munch munch,
to eat bagels like this-
to eat cream cheese like this-
munch munch munch,
the single-serving pouches- oh!
the pre-cut bagels- oh!
munch munch munch
right in the middle they’re cut-
smudges of pink atop the tan… mmm…
It’s all just like I’ve seen it on TV!

This second one is also based on a true story. Ever since I got the Herbst appliance, (the Herbst appliance is a metal thing my orthodontist put in my mouth to make my lower jaw stick out further, thus correcting my bite.) out of my mouth, my jaw makes this cracking sound now and then. This Thing With My Jaw reminds me of one of my previous poems, Sprinkles on My Ice Cream.

This Thing With My Jaw

Human bodies have funny things about them:
joint problems, facial ticks, amputated limbs,
strange noises coming from within.

Me, I have this thing with my jaw.
Every morning upon opening my mouth
perhaps to yawn, or to yell at the cat,
a cracking noise and feeling happens.

It’s as if a tiny troll lived in there,
and to make his living he mines for gems,
and Jablork (the name of the troll)
uses his cute trollish explosives to blast
through several feet of rock.

In fact right now I know my mouth
is populated by more than mere
bacteria, and by more than Jablork-
but by dark spirits in flashy costumes,
and by wolves.

This next poem is partly inspired by a co-worker I have right now who is really friendly, but he’s always talking about visions that he has and voices that he hears. He was in prison for about six months and then he was in a state hospital for mental illness for a year. He’s very interesting. He’ll talk and talk and I’ll listen and listen by the campfire.

In Times of my Ease

I should be thinking about oppression,
about my peers in the war,
or the Chinese children who made my shirt.

Instead I’m occupied by the rise and fall
Of my eyelids – by the encroachment and retreat
of the haze in my mind, by my schizophrenic
friend’s impassioned talk of the Dalai Lama,
vampires, Jim Morrison, third eyes, chakras,
and his pivotal role in it all.

But I do hereby concede that
I should be thinking about oppression,
about my peers in the war
or the Chinese children who made my shirt.

This next poem is self-explanatory.

On the Modern-Day Literary Elite, Of Which I Am Chief Of

Here I sit with a scholarly anthology of poetry.
I write a little;
I read a little.
I am by the campfire, it is midday,
and I am obscure.

No. Charlotte Perkins Gilman is obscure.
I am fobscure.

I read a little,
I write a little,
I loaf as Walt Whitman once loafed.

The trees and the rocks really do look very poetic today;
deep within my inner heart I feel the very throbbing, poetic
feelings about these trees and rocks before me – oh!
with such force my heart doth throb!
Aye – force! Force and clamor and fury!

Yet I doubt even a thousand people know my name. Sigh.

Those idiots!
Idiots indeed- Millions of them-
Billions of them- ignorant insects-
There they are, walking around, doing nothing consequential-
does it not occur to them that I might be sitting here at Boy Scout Camp
meditating on the mysteries of the soul, exuding wisdom,
breathing out beauty, communing with the seraphim?