Cheap poetry, September 12-18

Some poems simply will not permit themselves to be shortened sufficiently for Twitter. They’ll go on Facebook (my feed there is public), and I’ll post them here on Tuesdays under a separate heading.

To steel and wire the stately wood gives way,
Destruction wrought for power — but leaves room
For sun to coax a flower, earth to say
Its grace: “I was clear-cut, but now I bloom.”

I’ve searched for iambs far and trochees near;
Now I give up. I’m going to have a beer.

Speeches and donuts, the meeting’s bane:
Hot air for the belly, hot air for the brain.

Leftover soup, congealed and insipid
Let there be light! and a beep: Now it’s liquid.

Enchiladas and kimchee: My lunch for today
Has its mean origin up in west Bristol Bay.

Old gray men, sighing, hands
Clasped behind, search the ground
For crumbs of squirrels.

There’s nothing wrong with brevity
But sometimes a poem wants to be
Four lines, not three.

The rain, gently sighing
Denies forecast, mocks plans, renews
The patient goodness of the earth.

He cuts across a thicket
Of cars at right angles
To get to the Bojangles.
He must really need that biscuit.

The leaves of elms, dark splotched
Like old men’s hands,
Augur the year’s decline.

Crumpled bodies, lifeless strewn
on blankets, creased with care, await
the resurrection? breath of God? or merely
vinegar in the rinse cycle?


She tilts her head to contemplate
A gingerbread? Or sunlight’s gleam
On pebbled brook? ‘Tis memory’s fate
But faint to look past camera’s dream.

Together we shall ride
The Islamabus, my bride
With communal apostles, or worse!
‘Tis not to be missed — but it’s just a store list,
So please read my handwriting as verse.

If you like cheap poetry, read the explanation and manifesto.

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