April 16, 2009

Poems for April 12th – 15th, 2009

The poem for April 12th comes from a heteronym. Isem, even more than most of the group, tends to be didactic.


Change your mind, change the universe.
All the future waits on you,
on him, on her, on me, on them,
girls jumping rope and old men at checkers,
the mosquito and the bat and which one wins,
the hummingbird hovering between flower and feeder.
We all lose perspective sometimes.
The teenage boy whose heart hammers
in his ears, metal of adrenalin in his mouth,
sweaty, short of breath, fearful of his sanity–
his life– if she says no or laughs,
has not lost his. Only later, older
and worn out with meaning,
he’ll convince himself
that many things don’t matter.

–Isem Goins


The April 13th poem is by Basil, who fancies himself avant garde. To be honest, I don’t care for much of his work. This one seems like he gathered a pile of random words and added connective tissue.

Not Entirely Numerous

in the drizzle of sun the mind leaps & splashes,
both on this side of the flood, where shadows
are folded away like napkins, & in the dark mirror.
but the passing flocks of ponds on high,
the prairie grass that moshes with storm & scythe,
the sparks that spray from earth
every time a shovel turns,
these are gone from you. night mailed its letters,
& you read them. its headlights stared
down the day, & apollo crept off in shame.
i shade my eyes & shrink into my pores.
the sun is warm but impersonal,
like a glowing vacuum tube,
like an angry mother’s breast,
like me.

–Basil Cartryte


Two poems for April 14th. The only way to cleanse my mental palate of the foul aftertaste of yesterday’s poem was to cook up one that’s even worse (and introduce it with a clumsy extended metaphor):

National Poetry Month Poem-a-Day Marathon, Work #14

I’ve hit the wall–
I’ll rhyme that with all,
then do worse
with a stale rhyme on verse.
An inversion I’ll add,
just to be bad,
and with a twist I’ll end,
if I can think of one that’s lame enough.

–Carl Bettis

And now for something completely different… by Rameshi.

In Utopia

“How much is bus fare?”

“May we consider you exotic?”

“I know it sucks, but I like that painting.”

“Dear farmer, we thank thee for this food.
(Put out a bowl of corn for the chicken’s soul, honey.)”

“Every Saturday, she does a free strip show at the retirement home. He does his on Thursdays.”

“Yes, we’re still confused, frustrated and needy.”

“My accent is charming!”

“I saw the most amazing thing, a butterfly with clouds overhead.”

“He doesn’t work here anymore. He never dreamed of escape.”

“Everybody move over one life. No, counter-clockwise.”

“I can’t watch the Superbowl, Madame Zimbroska’s calling up Byron.”

“My mother died getting this photo. The framing’s a little off.”

“It’s the house with the lawn.”

“What the hell are ‘pastels’?”

“Another martini before you go to work?”

“Thank God I’m the stupidest one here!”

“The stairs are out. You’ll have to use the rope.”

“Those are dangerous words.”



And finally, for April 15th, another by Basil — but I like this one a bit better than his last. More stream-of-consciousness than grab-bag.

Nosebleed, Already Drying

Rebel against time, he thought carefully,
cheerfully, and one half
that the drunks were getting candied. Dandy
sprigs of regret wilted in their tumblers. Tumblers
of the spirit, moral gymnasts, limbic Houdinis, they
twisted around the                 and wriggled loose from their deeds.
A fine band of embittered brothers they were,
fearful that others would breathe their air,
which had to last them through the past.
One spoke to angels who didn’t hear.
One harkened to voices in the wind
and the whirr of fan blades and the whine of his nerves.
The nurse brought wine and bread
and the self-bred saint plucked his lust from its socket
and stowed it in his pocket.
Rossetti, Rossini and Pere Loti
assumed the position and OM’d many a padre betwixt cup and home.

Writ by this hand of its own will,
the ring finger alone dissenting,
in the ear of our chord, two sows and swine.

–Basil Cartryte


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