Friday, January 1, 2010

Ken Gurney


Yeah, I got a few bucks left. Don’t worry.
I noticed how you managed to not pay
for a single drink all night long
and a dozen guys refined their acceptance techniques
of your subtle and blatant and constant put downs
without so much as meeting their eyes.
At some point it is time to go home
and continue the flirtatious talk in private.
I mean, there is a twelve-pack in the fridge
and I can heat up a can of chili,
since you refuse to palate Denny’s cuisine
and that’s your tummy growl I hear prowling.

Election Returns

Last week the Pope arrived in Albuquerque―
well, at least a guy wearing a funny hat arrived,
who probably was not the King of Catholics
as the local entrepreneurs failed to promote
his arrival with T-shirts and coffee cups
and other pontiff paraphernalia.
He did get three girls down on their knees
in a prayer-like fashion and their tongues stuck out
expecting something like a communion wafer,
but this is only a rumor, as I was not there
and my glassy telescope was pointed
at the night sky, not the neighborhood windows
so as to reveal such privacies.

I heard the rumor from those women
addicted to grocery store checkout tabloids
who effortlessly spoke of black rituals and pagan frenzies
and the unredeemable acts of clenched fists coated in butter,
and how the snow of one of those globes sprays
about the room when the glass breaks against the wall,
but I filed that blue gibberish into the void
between stars in the blink of an eye,
but it was my ears that should have blinked
to save me from this recounting.

I Dance Silky Spokes

I dance the silky spokes
my eyes draw between stars:
my web of light to keep
the darkness in tow.
I sing the planets’ great circles
and ovals and eccentric orbits:
black night and blue day
above the spinning whorl of clouds.
I dance on the green grass,
the brown grass, bare feet stained.
I sing dream threads that bind
while I spin and leap and move,
connect the heavenly distances
that separate lively points of light.

Empty Rainbow

I feel the pierce of the hoop
through your lip. Your humid
torso sheds the moonlight.
With ice tea we wash down
the metaphors we consume,
the spoonfuls of fiery poetry
ingested like medicine.
I know you will leave
without sharing your name.
There are no rituals for this
feigned romance. The octaves
we mixed in the bedroom blender
leave a scribbled trail of black notes
as the wake of your footprints
scuff the doorway path.

From the second-floor window
I observe the plague of your parting,
your count of green leaves pocketed,
your indelicate walk through
the partly-cloudy rain fall
that should produce an arc of colors
but does not.

Missing The Boat

With head down and eyes averted
you approach the altar
with the wooden cross
attached to the resplendent
wounds of the dying Christ.

The entire English language
falls away from your thought
as you reach back
to a pre-Tiberian Latin
spoken at the base of the seven hills.

The library contains
millennia old vellum, bright pigments
of forgotten illuminations,
which pale when compared to
all the monks’ transcription
and translation errors.

You wanted to say some prayer
or something profound, but the vision
of the Virgin Mary statuette
always gives you a woody
with old testament prerogatives.

The baptismal font remains dry,
unable to drink even the slightest
shot of whiskey, so much so,
it wonders if it really is Irish in origin
and sailed one day before the Titanic.

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