Saturday, July 28, 2012

Putting up some older poems

I thought I might blog a few pieces that are older and have been in circulation for a little while now. My thanks go out to the editors who saw fit to publish them.


Blunt Force Trauma (Published in The Legendary Oct. 25, 2011)

Blunt Force Trauma

Nothing focuses the mind
like a good ass-kicking.
In bed afterwards, internal organs
re-arrange themselves inside the body.
A bruised spleen tickles, an exquisite
organ in its movement, second only
to the clitoris in provocation.

Granddaddy killed a cow who had turned
her uterus inside-out calving. Stove in her skull
with the back side of an axe. The calf survived;
nursed by a sharp-boned Holstein cow.

16-year-old boy half-way
ejected from a black Pinto
rolling down an embankment.
The police towed the wreck
to a garage only three blocks
from the funeral home. We gawked
past in awkward high-school neckties.
Ours was a small town.

Throw ten thousand punches
into the wooden man dummy, then
go out to eat dim-sum. A chopstick
dumpling is slick and heavy
as a new-born world.

Even after the divorce,
she still sets mouse traps
in her kitchen on occasion.

Joe Strummer & William S. Burroughs (published in The Legendary Oct. 25, 2011)

Joe Strummer Gives Advice to William S. Burroughs

When you kick down a front door,
Pay close attention to whether
you are going in or coming out.
Going out, you should have a get-away car
Coming in, you should bring a gift
Either way, the kick-down is only the beginning.

Fast Food Sestina (published in The Legendary Oct. 25, 2011)

Fast Food Sestina

On cold days Rochelle has to stand
out behind the back door just to smoke
a cigarette and worry about money.
She works doubles because she needs the hours
she and the manager have had a little talk
and she gets what she wants now, baby.

She flips her phone open to see a picture of her baby;
looks for the little envelope symbol to tell her where things stand.
Nothing there. She drifts back to when Corey would call to talk
and laugh and call her "honey". He rolled away like smoke
from a chimney. Now she fills her hours
with French fry grease, paper hats and never enough money.

She is going back to school when she saves enough money,
get her GED, a real job and some brand-new toys for her baby.
Or at least get some sleep, she's running on about five hours
or less these days. It's getting to where she can't stand
the thought of even one more shift meal, or the smell of smoke
when the grill gets too hot, or the way the high-schoolers talk.

Once in time, she could talk that talk
about who liked who, and what "I'm gonna get me with my paycheck money"
Now, these kids know better than to ask her for a smoke.
Back in the kitchen, the manager tells her she's going to have to baby
that machine along, or it'll fall right off its stand
and he's not paying for a service call after-hours.

She punches her card into the ker-chunking time clock and adds up her hours
in her head, how long to buy gas, how long for formula, and how long to talk
with Mama about this week's rent. She watches the customers stand
in line, looking up at the menu like it's a spaceship they have to give their money.
She smiles a thin smile as she thinks about her own little alien baby
sees her dropping from a space ship flashing its lights and spewing green smoke.

The onions in the machine burn her eyes like smoke,
but still she smiles for her little girl who giggles for hours
and grins like a post-card lake in the mountains, a cool blue-water baby.
some day, when that cool little girl learns how to talk,
some day, when she can afford the money
they'll find that lake, stare at their reflections in the water, and just stand.

Mama told her "You'll stand what you have to stand, put that in your pipe and smoke it."
So she deep-fries for money, sweats in an ugly shirt for hours and listens to the
code-talk from the line, "Double-double, heavy everything, and drop me some fries, chop-chop, baby"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Philosophical Discussion Between a 'Possum and a Raccoon.

There's a chicken in the road.
What's a chicken doing in the road?
Crossing it.
Crossing what?
The road.
You're telling me there's a chicken crossing the road?
Yep, that's what I'm telling you.
I wonder why.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Recent Publications

The Legendary
Fast Food Sestina
Joe Strummer gives advice to William S. Burroughs
Blunt Force Trauma
Another Barcelona
AK-47: Mikhail’s Tractor
I-95: Not Looking Back
This Ain’t Tibet, Baby

Short, Fast, and Deadly
Ode to February 15th

Night Train (ceased publication)
Daddy Warbucks Got Indicted

Clinch Mountain Review (print publication)
Surviving the Drought (prose)
The Guns of Pittston
The Firefly
Maybe it’s Just Me

Hazard Cat
What Happens on Saturday Night Around Here

Floyd County Moonshine (print publication)
Slow Cards with One-Armed Men (short story)

Dead Mule School of Southern Literature (coming out Feb. 2013)
Lumberyard Sestina
News from Home
Trailways Madonna
On Mapping a Slave Cemetery

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Poetry Thursday July 19

In Which the Cyclist Reveals Truth to the Rooster in the Road

You were here first,
Closer by the second,
I am the Conquering Dog on a white wheel.

Cross the road
Strut like a man, stupid bird
I am War Fox on a red bicycle.

Blue-speckled egg-son,
Peck at the grain spilled on the shoulder
I am Hunger on black tires.

 Puff your comb Chanticleer,
Stand your proud ground.
I am Death too pale for you to see.