Saturday, March 16, 2013

Four Old Poems

I haven't written any poetry for a long time, but I'd like to share four poems that I wrote during my last year of college.

A Story I Heard
He sat in his kitchen
beneath a green pop-up tent
The peyote wouldn’t let go
of his brain.
His friends put out a plate
every day, like he was
some wild jungle cat,
too wary of the daylight
to emerge from his lair,
too full of white teeth
to be approached directly.
  All the while:
        Bob Dylan sat next to him
        reeking of Highway 61
and police sirens,
        stinking of broken harmonicas
        and ancient folk-singer socks.
        The fumes burned his eyes
        and melted his own ragged garments
        into borrowed hand-me-downs.
        How he hated
        of a generation.
        But etiquette was preserved
        even in this far-out barn-seed bivouac.
So he realized that
you could never tell
Robert Zimmerman
        how badly his
no matter how much
        your lungs ache

Rosa Palm and Her 5 Sisters
I can’t monument a moment
Stop a glass
My photos are melting pockets
  Of gold.
We are children
  And I am a child wonder.
Progress lost to me
As love is to the birds.
What have I got
On my ancient fathers?
I’m an idle masturbator
And they were fingers in motion.
Generation after generation
We still jerk off.

Andrew Jackson, I love thee
In the foyer of the White House, you let anyone
 Eat of a two ton wheel of cheese
        How cool is that?
You started the spoils system in politics
        Were you proud of that?
        Were you proud of all the Indians you killed?
I don’t think you were a decent man
        (But who really is?)
You killed the best gunfighter in Tennessee
Your hands must’ve left blood on everything you touched
        Yet you never saw their ghosts
Why do I love thee?

My Pockets
I was cleaning out my pockets the other day and this is what I found:
3 balls of lint;
A crumbled receipt for a 6 pack of beer;
An ink pen drawing of a dinosaur;
A muddy glass eye;
The splinters of a toothpick;
A Christmas card from Jesus;
The dried husk of a raisin;
A lipstick-smeared love letter to myself;
A half-empty pack of Marlboros;
The petrified paw of my favorite cat;
3 whole years of my life, covered in bubble gum, tar-stained and wasted, left lying on the ground like a barely smoked cigarette, smoldering and useless.
At least I found enough change for a candy bar.
Ob-la-Di, Ob-la-Da.

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