April 23, 2010

National Poetry Month 2010, Days 19, 20, 21 and 22

Need to catch up on my blogging. Four more poems, including two more pseudonyms. I hope to give all twelve a chance to participate in National Poetry Writing Month. (Thirteen, if you count the one who calls himself “Carl Bettis.”) Also, Earth Day and a slice of childhood.


I offered Miss Lafferty a plum
and a kiss. She declined with
a gesture at her stomach. I asked
Miss Lafferty if she’d like
to smile coldly with me at
this foolish grubby world
that never combs its hair,
but she, guessing a trap,
would not agree. Then
I said how about we help
the Demiurge distribute
appearances to keep
the world’s soul
suffering under chains?
Her head shook but I saw
her lips quirk and I pursued.
We could make an idol
from plastic and epoxy,
write a new scripture, step outside
the laws of matter to turn
a few miracles, water to beer,
franks and peanuts multiplied
at ball games. I’ll die horribly
and you’ll write letters
on my behalf, proclaiming
principles I’d hate, convince
people to celebrate my murder
several times a year, but most
by disowning their lives.
Miss Lafferty smiled
and said, Now that’s a game
I think I could like.

— Wylie Boyle, 4/19/2010


Mechanical Lovers Need Not Be Made of Flesh
(on the DC3025 model robotic companion)

Mechanical lovers need not be made of flesh,
and you can commission the form you desire
without facing prim lips or rolled eyes
(the chortles are saved for the smoking alley
after you leave). Times come when a steady,
studied motion is what kneads you
until the hungry creature is fed and it’s now
for a nap with no one to watch you sleep.
You know it won’t last. They are delicate,
but so malleable you can’t help but test
their flexibility, bend them to the snap,
and then it’s back to the scrap bin.
It’s likely you’ll meet parts again
in those you choose after. There are
some differences from men, though.

— Vivi Groesbeck, 4/18/2010



Behind the house next door
between yard and alley
stood a tiny ruin where
a charred hunk of wood
dangled from a rusting rod
on the remains of a wall.
My sister and I dug up
twisted blobs of metal —
once cutlery perhaps,
but I declared and believed
them genuine silver.
I’ve not been so rich
in a long time.
I never made up
tales of who lived there
or why it burned.
There were four-leaf clovers
to harvest, dandelions
to puff into wishes,
pebbles of broken glass
to sift for gems. I had
a business to run.

— Carl Bettis, 4/21/2010


Homo Erectile Dysfunction

The 40th Earth Day, is it,
and how much good have they done?
Ask the polar bear shrinking
into the sea, ask the collapsed
beehives and the dying bats.
More hawks circle in the city
all the time;
are they driven among us
by hunger? I’m afraid
to go to sleep, afraid
another part of the world will steal
away while I’m not watching:
an ancient line of cats cut off,
a glacier puddled, an island drowned.
Who knew England would be Atlantis,
or that the Genesis flood
was prophecy, not legend?
The human ark’s an outboard,
the deaths of species the chop
and roar in our wake.
So happy Earth Day, I’ve giving you
this recycled card to say
let’s you and me leave.
I hear new continents are forming.
We might learn to like
walking barefoot on trash.

— Carl Bettis, 4/22/2010


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