Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

Breaking News

Breaking news,
Anne Sexton died almost 50 years ago
Jar lids were pulled off
With rubber grips in
The wings beat at the dozens per second
And the peroxide told its secrets to hair

Dogs have powerful bone jaws
And scrape metaphors off ribs
And they eat us out from the inside
With ravenous disloyalty
On Moloch lakes
Where former angels watched
Their wings become ash and turds

Another day a mind contends with
Living in flesh
Flued and sooted
But loses
And forgets itself
Into heroic glands

Talk to them
Not to me

I’ll be new tomorrow
We all are
Until ossified
And broken as news

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My plumbing is all
Messed up after two years
Riding a bike during this Covid

The straws and tubes
With which god made a crotch
Are all bent and skewed
Nothing comes out right
I spatter and dribble piss like
A broken radiator

But I can hiss and sob
A man made old before his time
Graceful in my imperfection

Plato said there are no objects just ideals
So you can think about that as you sadly
Consider my ruined junk

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This corn must know it’s growing
Near a chocolate factory
Must smell the smokestacks
And know its own good murder

And we walk a chocolate town
Known by its chocolate river
And its invasive bugs, red on its
Underwings, stretched across
The calligrapher’s book to write its
Invasive thoughts upon,
Looking up with its orange eyes
In hopes of devouring the corn
And leaving its prolific eggs

The kids and the corn and now bugs know again
They are growing near a chocolate factory
And who slaved for what is sweet

D.H. Lawrence wrote of a sensual need for justice

And likewise
The beautiful red-brown lanternfly is smashed under thought
Blue Converse and mandate of state law
Just as the bug serves his own mandate
To devour the Pennsylvania picture at night

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Lie To Me Like a Junkie

Lie to me like a junkie
Make it soft and intimate
Say it in my ear that we can make it work
It’s all going to be better

Put my ear in something soft
Bathe it in falsehoods
Make it feel like this time
We’re really going to fall asleep
In the water and drown

Tell it to me like I know you’re desperate
That you have no choice but to sweetly
Ever so sweetly smile and cheat me
The moon knows your kiss is cold
And that lie that the moon shone on
Was old
But it felt good to lie on the grass
And pass this lie south
From mouth to red and stupid mouth

Lie to me like a junkie
And it’ll feel so fine

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Love Is Memory

Love is memory

Love is a series of past acts
You saw go by in
A parade or a pageant
Or a passion play

Love wasn’t carrying
The cross for her

It was the dream of carrying
In a past whose truth
Was evaporated
Upon waking

Hugs never last for more than
A few seconds

But the memory of the hug
Or the kiss done in passion
Or anger
Lasts a year
A century

They wove it into a tapestry
At the cloisters

That thing you wove
Was love

Because love is memory

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You hold up the window to capture sky
You hold it to capture blue
It’s somebody else’s morning there
And it’s getting ahead of you

The night still moans her labor
As she put in her e-string
Her menopause is moody
And her bones are brittle things

And her calories she’s counting
And she does another plank
And the morning is a picture
That you keep inside a tank

And you’re going to finish that novel
But the words just won’t come out
It’s about a boxer who’s beaten
They knocked his molars out

And you could either take the stimulants
Or hear that country song
You know when you take either
That you’ll feel just how you want before long

She said when the old song touched her heart
She felt again like a child
And it made me smile to set her free
And see her feet turn wild

Cause the purest love I can think of:
When we set each other free
And each of us ask the hardest question:
“Will I ever come back to me?”

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Caffeine Headache

My head and pencil neck

                Hang longingly over the

                Syringe-like highway dividing lines

Speeding past; morphine

                Nightmares; an ominous windshield


I’ve been wearing black

                Socks in the morning

                The coffee I cuddled

In my tonsils

Gropes around

                Like the failure of alcohol


I’m going on furlough up north

Up away from pedestrians

                And pederasts,

Just above the street corner

                Cymbal music, a cut

                Above the freon suffocation


To the fake pastoral fields

                Away from my siblings

                Away from the church

To the fake pastoral fences

In a car with a passenger

                I don’t know

                Away to anywhere


I took the white hot pills

To ensure that before I reached

My destination I would not fall

Asleep on the road, killing us both


But this time they made

                Me ache; as my foot

                Dips into the combustion


I squeeze my eyes

                I’m awake and more in pain

                And acutely aware

That I’m as fragile as glass.


–Eric Rasmussen, 1990

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She said she liked my song

But not the tasteless arrangement

My melodies are like pigs, she said

And roll in muddy firmament


And her dark eyes had kohl and looked wet in the room

Here she knew she could judge me

Knew her look meant my doom


Looking for a flat or a word out of place

She could cut me and see the pain on my face


My whittling thirds and a seventh out of time

I cut it too quickly like the green off a lime


She knew how it hurt to squeeze some flavor from truth

Still she shot down my song

Called it tasteless, uncouth


Then she asked me for dope money

And I gave her a ten

Till next time she cuts me

When we do this again


And as she left me alone

So her arm could seize joy

I’m here tasteless in waiting

For those with taste to destroy


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She Said I

She said I’m as alienated from my own singing voice

As I am from the ships that cross the narrows

Same as when my looks turn like gravity into male gazes

And they bash each other like black beard sparrows


This is nothing I contrive or plan on a hot street

God having made me what I am

And when I hear my own voice in a tape or a phone

I do not know that person any more than a staticky voice on a radio


And when I turn and see my blonde red reflection

And try to plumb the depths of the maker

Who is it really that made up that face,

That I had nothing to do with, nor the sexual race


The proceeds of knowing come when I walk or turn out the light

I don’t know how many arguments I’ve sparked or fights

Cause when I hear my own voice in a phone

I’m afraid of it, that other thing, that I come to know when I’m alone

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The year was 1911. The movie camera was new

And when it captured the young old souls

In the pinned frames and licked their faces

Onto emulsion, the timeless New York jaywalker

Paid his debt

To posterity by showing,

Abreast the speeding cars,

He still didn’t give two fucks

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