Selected prose poems from

NOWHERE

NOW HERE

published by Radial Books 

2021

 

 

 

DAY AT THE BEACH

 

A truck carrying inflated beach balls just skidded off I-95 near Roanoke and now the beach balls, probably hundreds are dotting the highway causing pileups, quite a few flying up into trees like giant jelly beans and there's such a state of joy among the flocks of red-winged blackbirds and cats are chasing dogs for a change into the median, dogs that always wanted but never had the courage to enter and those surviving the chase are relieving themselves like never before and me, I'm just lying here in the sand listening to the radio, looking at the sun through my eyelids, waiting for some big new world to come out of nowhere and bounce off my head.

 

 

 

 

QUAKE

 

Moe is hoeing his row of turnips toward a stubborn clump of quack grass when suddenly the sugar maples catapult a flock of grackles into a waiting breeze while the blue sky whites itself out with clouds and as the sun fades in its effortless dominion, the ground suddenly does something Moe has no name for and whatever it is is taking its good ole time and Moe begins to hop and skip around to surprisingly keep from falling down while the purple mirror ball on its pedestal in the backyard thrusts itself into the carp pond making tiny waves and despite their tiny size, they team toss the mirror ball at Moe's shiny head and he catches it even though he's always been afraid of balls of all kinds and now he sees his face in it and his newly permanent teeth chatter some and if he isn't a sight for sore eyes like his father used to say and when the ground finally stops doing whatever it was doing and the carp pond calms and grackles are back on branches, Moe jiggles the mirror ball a little in his hands only to discover right there in the turnip patch he too can jar a world when he puts his hoe down.

 

 

PHALLIC SENTIMENTS

 

Clarence confessed to me if he could do it all over again he’d have been a candlestick maker and I tell him there’s still time, you’re young and wick and wax are still reasonable but he’s had his urology practice for nearly forty years now and he knows half the town by their penises alone and then he remembered how much fun and how much money he made summers with his popsicle stand at the end of his driveway and I informed him that sticks are a dime a dozen anymore and then he asks me how I've become so content waving a baton in the air twice a week in front of instruments and thousands of people and I tell him the baton itself is content and it’s leading me, it’s like a candle, a popsicle, a penis all rolled into one and I go places where I can’t go without it but right now, I’m going to stick some kabobs on the grill. You want one?

Selected poems from

JUICE

published by Regal House Publishing

2019

PYROGYRO

 

I tell you in a whisper

I enjoyed your warm words

over the burn barrel. And what

a lovely spectra as the fabric

 

softener jug turned to goo.

Wasn’t it thoughtful

 

of the officer in his chopper

to descend to just above us and declare

 

the degree of your singed brow?

He was one and the same

 

who spread your uncle’s ashes

over our desert crater. Didn’t you

 

want to add The Sun about now?

Watch page by page so much thought

 

on our world go up in smoke?

You know this very moment

 

hundreds in Samoa and the Congo

are roasting supper on a stick

 

while hungry thousands abide outside

the stone circle. And countless

 

homeless here at home are rubbing

hands together over flames

 

as if mere hands

were keeping flames going. 

 

  

HOOKEY

 

I ask Titus, an alien from CX-48

in the constellation Cassiopeia

why he doesn’t want to meet

the gang down at the bowling alley.

He says they’ll take one look

and want to knock some pins down

with his head. He’s right.

So let’s go fishing.

 

We wade Paduka Creek halfway

where Titus reaches down

among the rocks and picks up

trout, three per hand. Trout,

he says six times before he lets them go.

I’d like to get some pictures first,

and he agrees but when I look at them,

he’s barely there, only trout

that look like they are roosting

in the aspens. I forgot Titus

really doesn’t capture well,

if at all, and my pics look like I ran them

all through Photoshop.

 

I ask Titus why he’s always

stretching his arms up in the air

and he tells me that he’s reaching

for his long-lost playmate

back on CX-48. I ask him

if he’d like to stand up

on my shoulders. He does.

 

Titus starts to cry. His tears

come out all purple

and silky like Johnson’s baby oil.

Then he disappears.

But only for a moment and then

he’s back. I ask if he’s forgotten

something and he tells me

he was told it’s not his time

but I know he misses the trout.

 

 

 

 

THE TWO ARMSTRONGS

 

Boy deep down inside the man

has Keds on. Springy as a pogo stick.

Divides his day-to-day among his pockets:

maps, collapsible telescope,

Mars bars, compass.

On his belt, canteen full of life force:

Kool-Aid or Tang.

 

Boy’s been rattling the man’s

thorax. Man just calls it gas,

something he ate. Words come,

sound like module, lunar.

Doctor comes,

pulls a beanie, bent propeller

from the man’s esophagus.

 

Boy launches

like a Saturn 5 rocket. Lands

in a silver-on-the-inside cape.

When he lifts his arms,

a thousand parakeets fall out.

Doctor falls down.

Man puts down

 

his instruments.

Throws his keys

into nearby weeds and woods.

Donates explorer/discoverer biographies.

Stops the mail.

 

Boy shows him

how to walk all over again,

leave prints

that make good pics. How

not to kick up dust, jar rocks.

 

Eventfully they plant a flag.

Place hands upon hearts.

Never before, stripes

wide as these. Never again,

stars this close.