Saturday, March 26, 2011

When Yesterday Was My Name: Four Short Poems



When Yesterday Was My Name: Four Short Poems

The credit union clerk drops
a sliced lamb sandwich on the floor.
Perhaps he remembers an abandoned church,
littered and crusty, wool blankets
rank with tobacco and stale sweat
on an iron-frame bed.
For the red-breathed clerk,
there have been no small number
of I-Love-You miscalculations.
Outside it is raining long needles,
Inside it is fever and insomnia,
hair clumps falling onto 
a greasy pillow.
Blood pounds in his skull
as if someone is hammering apart
cheesy divorce furniture.

          ~

The moon's brightness awakens you.
Where the trail bends past lunar farms,
tractors line up for auction.
Clouds are for drinking with whiskey.
Eternal comets thrash the night.
Misguided blue eye shadow:
the small town bride's sister,
in an incandescent-champagne dress,
legs in leather and steel braces,
tries to dance... fueled by spiked punch
Old fashioned singing and Walmart
Chinese trunks against a wall:
how skin-warm is memory?

          ~

Mounted deer and coyotes gather dust
in the old hotel's basement.
The trick, a local realtor says,
is to move alone, because pain
and pleasure are like strangers
meeting in a rundown bar.
The hotel's bedding was home-dyed,
pewter-blue, and the windows
once owned a rosy tint.
The realtor is sporting
turquoise suede boots,
says she's getting used to
ranchero music
and drunk neighbors
firing off shotguns
every midnight.

          ~

Ruddy children razor open
string-bundled Life magazines.
In the next room, their mother
sleeps off a week on meth.
The ballpoint pen factory
is boarded up tight.
Behind the burned-out
filling station,
pages of pin-up calendar
models dance.
Blood-washed teeth,
a diabetic's saggy
neck skin:
sorry tractors
squat behind
an old hotel.

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