Poetry

The Last Telegram

Waking up. STOP.
Putting on slippers. STOP.
Making coffee. STOP.
Looking for newspaper. STOP.
Found newspaper. STOP.
Drinking coffee. STOP.
Head hurts. STOP.
Head really hurts. STOP.
Trouble breathing. STOP.
Where is Heimlich? STOP.
Feeling better. STOP.
Call off Heimlich. STOP.
Two eggs over medium. STOP.
That’s better. STOP.
Turning on TV. STOP.
Oh, fuck! STOP.
Head hurts. STOP.
Stop. STOP.
Turning off TV. STOP.
That’s better. STOP.
Going for walk. STOP.
Love the weather. STOP.
Write if you get work. STOP.


an american tragedy (from the headlines)

over 100 patients potentially infected 
obama counters violent extremists 
with extremists
giuliani: obama doesn't love america 
vanilla ice released from custody
bruins reach new rock bottom
another star in the solar system 
when humans first spread from africa
space to grow

-------------------------------------





the magna carta, baby

blowing the lid off
the divine right of kings
the way magma 
blows the head off a volcano
act on the artistic impulse
impulsively

fastly quickly
just make something up
shoot the moving target
from the hip
but there was a problem
we shoulda looked at the map

first
the end of the world
could be a lot of fun 

if you would just let it
let it happen


---------------------

now i am an expert
a cognoscente connoiseur
a smooth sommelier
i have tasted wines
in california
i liked all of them


______________________________________________

middle of the night
rumbling freight train shakes the earth
whistle sounds like light








______________________________________________







why don’t we take up quilting?

the question has been asked:
why don’t we take up quilting?
and one possible answer is
we really should

the benefits are many
the sewing machine’s smooth
clicketyclick
warms a winter night
clicketyclick
tapping the foot pedal
laying down rhythmic stitches
slow like a slow dance
pedal to the metal on the straightaways
zooming like a threaded V-8

we could make murals
fabricate geometries of
frost or cheesecake or full, voluptuous ripe melons
with little triangles cut
from the legs of well worn blue jeans
(who knows what went on in there)
not that denim or melons gotta be blue
but you would get the idea
and want to reach for it

like bearded mountain grandmas
we would quilt fervently, quaintily, and manlily
quilt unto the cows, quilt until they come home
when the moon goes down for good and
the sun eclipses itself
why don’t we take up quilting?







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Go Figure

what’s the dates on these figs?
go figure
how many figs in a hectare?
go figure out
what in the fig
is a hectare
then we can figure
out the fig in ure figure

but wait,
how can you figure
the word figure
applies to both numbers
and the shape of B. Bardot?
we need to figure this out
maybe this will help:
  1. Bardot!
36-20-35 figuratively
go figure
that curvy figure

these figs are so good
I hafta eat another
but what does that mean?
is that what a fig meant?
o figment of a fig
you render me
the pigment of a pig

so I gotta eat another
no I want six
six figs in one mouth
this mouth right here
six all at once
cheeks bulging like piglets
eating figlets
or giblets
chewing chiclets
like chocolate
chocolate-dipped figs







______________________________________________








Running Outa Road Paint

the job sounded easy:
“just one white stripe on U.S. 50,
our truck, you buy the paint”

it musta been the new hard times
answering too quickly,
“sure, no problem”

but there was a problem
we shoulda looked at the map
first

U.S. Highway 50
starts in Ocean fuckin’ City, Maryland
stops in Sacra fuckin’ Mento, California

one white stripe
one-eighth inch thick
three long thousand miles long

how many gallons is 3000 miles?
the guy at the road paint store
says thirteen hundred seventy-seven
but he was just guessin’

guessin’
thirteen hundred seventy-seven
is a good number, spoken with conviction
we say “sure, no problem”

and it was no problem
to run outa road paint
in Jefferson fuckin’ City, Missouri

the stripe stopped smack
in front
of the one state fuckin’ capitol
nobody’s ever heard of
until they run outa road paint

we park on this bluff
above the Missouri River
taking it in, stripe or no stripe
waiting for more road paint
not waiting for more road paint
looking upstream





______________________________________________











 we are embers
 tracing flame
 across the arc
 that made us from flame 

 fire in the sky
 fire in the belly
 fire in the eye
 hot in a cool universe




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11 / 13

double prime numbers
make the date today
eleven
thirteen
prime
day
autumn
orange
blue
misty chilly
solstice
approaching




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Translated from the Estonian
         (That's the title)
 Northern Estonian To Be Exact
a boy named sue just spread the word around
I want you with blue suede shoes
feed your head with rocky raccoons
see how it flies like lucy in the
shine on you crazy diamond
how do we know these lyrics?
the northern lights did it to us
the borealis a’roaring through our brains
or maybe it was the reindeer moaning on the tundra
or maybe a needle jabbed the groove
spinning in the ice
broadcasting chill waves in the deep chill
paint it black, angie baby, like a rolling stone
we sing tunes in our knees
we race with the melodies
we are great runners, groovin’
sprinting through long arctic tunnels
searching for the lost chord




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waitress from heaven

yes! I'm ready to order . . .
i’ll have the grapes and wine special
with some sleep and a cool pillow
an aloe-and-sunburn aperitif
for dessert i’ll have an island
with palm trees and sand

for my entrée please give me a line
that’ll work on you
and i’ll take that line to go
to go with you after dinner
yes everything is divine
no i don’t want the bill
just give me some wings
and a ride on the sky

  



______________________________________________



Canoe  Poem #4

if all the while you stood and snored
thru cavalcades and drums
and stared the passing hours into
a steady background hum
then you might be missed
by all the gifts just waiting
to collide with you

should you come awake
snapped to, startled clear
then
do not exhort yourself, don't pause in reflection
stay  peeled

The time it takes to move from your mind to you
is an instant
the difference is not of kind or degree but dimension
it can only be extended by ignorance
don't think about it, it'll last longer that way

by Matt Rosenberger

 

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Canoe Poem #3

in the middle of the river the country kid stands on a rock
sipping a beer with the rapids curling around him
its 1999 and his hair is cut shock red
in between sips he tounges the new stud in his lip
he sticks his thumb in the bottle and launches his tattoos
into the pool below
its 1999 and some things never change
(row your boat, Mary Lee
Mary Lee, row your boat to me
and I'll dream you gently
upon my life
gently down the stream)

by Matt Rosenberger
 

Canoe Poem #2

fluid flux flummoxed
flat water found out and roiled
turned towards intuitive turmoil
tumescent turbulence tumbling over
eddy oh eddy oh eddy line o'mine
pine trees with poop on the roots
gap-toothed wonders skinnydipping
with menthol kools in clenched lips
hard chines, shoals tumblehomed
spooked trout about dusk
sounds something like this but
its got an indian name
and there's an arrow in my head
pointed upstream
drawn to aim by magnetic me
not quite the "real me"
always slightly to the light from the truth as I perceive it

by Matt Rosenberger


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Canoe Poem #1

on the river on a rock
this head turns
green trees sprout on my retina
down a bit
white water aerosols off my skin
at each and every moment
the universe is precisely arranged
to take you into account
every molecule, opinion
each quantum spurt of resistance and charm
calibrated to your presence
this moment rocks cuz you're aware of it
the others rock on
regardless in the river

by Matt Rosenberger




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Estate Sale
(Thank You, Veronica)

the estate sale hobby is one I never imagined –
at first try, it's just an excuse to cruise
cruise to the far corners of this new old town
and cruise into homes without homebodies

fun to cringe at baby blue shag carpeting shagging oak floors
or to smirk at the crappy taste that money lathers
into cramped hallways, sad bedrooms and giant attics

or to pause in awe at a slice of perfection and
cherish it now the way the recently departed cherished it then
and every now and then at an estate sale . . .

. . . a choice trophy fits home and budget and home it goes
to grace a new old room in our new old home
stud it with color, comfort, craft and curves

our new old home, built the year Mom was born
one century ago, and now – old estates live on here
in new ways, in new old time

by Jonathan Marcus, rocking in a chair of unknown provenance





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math versus a natural swing
       
i love baseball but my real love
is higher mathematics
competitive and bloodthirsty
where square roots,
squeeze plays and
Fibonacci world series
square off
against cold fusion,
slugging percentage
strike outs
steals and
suicide squeezes
go ahead
do the higher math
smack fungoes to centerfield
stretch a double
into a quadratic equation
theoretical calculus and dead reckoning
savagely intuitive
extremely linear
a highbrow swing game
high cheese, fast twitch peptides
burning the inside corner
faster than the math
of physicists and sabermetricians
it’s complex, it’s simple,
it’s quick but your head
spins like sunshine and space
money balls fly into the gap
left centerfield
weird other worldly equations
hidden in box scores
math versus a natural swing
circles squared
equal and opposite thermodynamics
money times calories
equals effort
and good intentions
gentlemen, start your resumes
grab your throbbing paychecks
sing for your net worth




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O, Turnberry!



Tom Watson just made the cut at the British Open - at age 64, the oldest golfer ever to do so. Five years ago, at age (one moment, hmm, 64 minus 5 is...) 59, he was poised over an 8 foot putt on the 18th and final hole at Turnberry, one of the oldest and most venerated venues of the Open. Make it and he wins. That putt was the culmination of an extraordinary four day run which saw him turn back time to lead a field of world class players fully a generation younger, all vying for one of golf's most treasured trophies. He had won the Claret Jug as a much younger man, but this was a miraculous moment - make the putt, and he becomes the oldest player ever to win this or any other major tournament, by a long shot. This poem was written by Whirled HQ in the aftermath, and is reposted here in honor of his making the cut in 2014. It is best read out loud, in one's best Scottish brogue.


O turnberry ye hardy hunk of tortured scottish turf
the wind and sea and weather pound thy earth
like fists of duffers flailing

O turnberry ye thirsty sponge for tears and blood
blood of fools, blood of kings, blood of bogeyed holes
blood seeped and supple in your dirt

O turnberry your claws sunk deep in the shallows of the outer Firth of Clyde
you've your own moon, turnberry, a half farthing rising in the pounding sea
we call it the Ailsa Craig, fat and edged in the sinking sun

O Turnberry your winds do twist and thrash and overturn
laughing at gravity herself
tossing a dimpled ball on a celtic whim

O merciless Turnberry, ye spiteful course
tom watson slashes through your puzzled links
tom watson aged 59 stands atop turnberry aged eons

O Turnberry summoning gales of inevitability
the odds stacked against goodness and mercy and truth of heart
favoring the brutal sea, the lumpy heaving foam-frothed sea

O Turnberry ye exquisite Scottish poison
poised on the 18th hole, old tom watson needs an 8 foot putt
to win the Claret Jug and eternity, immune to wind and war

O Turnberry! Old Tom Watson!
good god man, it's an eight foot putt to immortality
gird thy loins, stroke true, the cup is in your grasp!

O good god, turnberry, did you rise in green envy?
brook naught that's straight and true?
Turnberry
reserves immortality for
Turnberry


by the boy poets, flailing in ecstatic denial 


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They made us write a poem using any of the following words:

amber cloven beaten grating  bump shift craven  solicit ready mad leave left crazy shift frog snake eyes flake inner mind over under vague nebulous hazy gauzy cleave verboten misbegotten rage slashes grievously across a golf ball crafty left hander  buzzard manhole shithole labyrinth marathon rubbish beaver strawberry mind fink enthrall compose radish verboten syntactical navel naval switchboard flog monstrosity garbage posthumorously harridan pneumatic vixen jaded razored buttery  ragged corruptible veal scoundrel ambient polar vortex mythology flamboyant summery fetch rampant plebeian ambidextrous unicycle unbidden


. . .  so we wrote two. 

Poem #1


eyes gauzy
crafty left hander
strawberry beaver
verboten vague buttery
polar vortex
jaded razored radish
ambient veal ready
snake eyes shift
nebulous shithole
ambient scoundrel
unbidden, rampant
flamboyant inner raven
slashes grievously across
veal garbage
mad mind fink
marathon grating


Poem #2



the summery nebulous
polar vortex
unicycled unbidden
across the naval switchboard
the plebeian flakes,
all jaded and craven
fetch misbegotten rage
buzzards enthrall
the razored radish
vixens cleave
to the strawberry labyrinth



___________________________________________________________





Office Politics












that's me on the fortieth floor
second window from the left
peering out at nothing in particular 
I used my personal politcial power
to get a window office
to see the sun, see other buildings
see people scrambling below
people glad to finally see the sun, any sun
locked within a nippy, chilly, over cooled cubicle
worse than the blackest hole of Calcutta
(except for the cold)
worse than The Snake Pit. Remember the movie?
where Olivia de Havilland found herself 
in an insane asylum 
and couldn't remember how she got there
caught up in the bureaucracy of the institution
the regimentation of the staff
some brutal and ignorant
a few kindhearted
most just killing time
cubicle time





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The Staging Area


what’s missing in your life
is a good and proper staging area
don’t just take clothes out of the dryer
fold ‘em and put ‘em away
that’s for losers
they belong in a good and proper staging area
an interim area, so to speak, where they lay
waiting for a drawer or closet
sometimes the wait is very long

we, the royal we, wouldn’t be where we are today
without a staging area
to buffer the friction between
a machine and a closet
between the known and the unknown
earth and sky
action and inaction
and those places in between
like inertia, nebraska
torpor, maine
languor, ohio
keg, georgia
now and then
and apathy, texas
buffer yourself, my good man
in a good and proper staging area
it will temper your quills
and hip-ta-phi your Christmas music








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Paint, Ink

Paint, Ink:
siblings
weirdly worth more
to civilization
than gold

Paint, Ink:
liquid siblings 
hand and brush
touch and breath
attention is physical
the liquid dries

proof remains






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i have a great idea for a movie

opening scene everybody would die except
just two or three would survive, to live
gruesomely scabby yet riveting lives
the survivors would have cleft chins
and perfect breasts that heave on command
or off

and they, the stars, the beautiful stars
would repopulate the earth in 90 minutes
make it a better place for kids and golden retrievers

the movie crests into naked euphoria
in the first two seconds
when bill o’reilly explodes in a deluge of magma
that has surged up from the earth’s core
directly into fox studios

the remaining eighty-eight minutes
with the movie’s perfect pacing
of cliffhanger rescues followed by frenzied fucking
feature nancy grace, the former prosecutor
whose southern accent
with its bitter yet come hither edge
makes me and all other cinematic
dorky ass viewers of cable tv cringe
and lust mightily at the same time
her full lips feverish and shiny
her open thighs ready to receive
the burning priapus of the sub-plot

anyway i digress from my movie idea
of the people who recopulate the world
and for a brief time live happily, so happy
in utah, where the mormons used to practice posture
before my movie sent them all to kingdom come

in the denouement, just before the climax
a really horrible thing happens, finally
after reams of crazy deaths and ecstatic couplings
but strangely, it seems rightly horrible
you might even say – apropos of
all the things, the death, the life
the well-hung dialogue, the rippling tears
the crippling laughter laced in the sacral bone
the very emulsion of the film itself
all melting together – beguilingly
a strange comic relief, a last straw
in the unending beverage that is my movie 
 
by the boy poets, throwing an eephus pitch


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Thoughts for a Strong Week


May your bricks be
As strong as your mortar
May your jokes be short
And your pants even shorter.





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View From the Motel Room



behind the beige plastic light-proof curtains
above the whisper quiet
weather control unit
bricks
baked red bricks
in rows
red baked rows

stacked like
bricks
a lotta bricks
a million bricks
stacked up
and across
up
and across
up
and across
in lines
that don’t line up

mortar brick
brick mortar
every where
a sun-baked mortar grid
above the weather control unit

sun creeps ticktock
across the bricks
slow as a brick factory
bakes bricks red in the sun
lots of angles
lots of cubes
lots of mortar
big stack
big view

from the motel room


 
      by the boy poets, reviewing the viewing





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The Obelisk of Kartoon 

The Obelisk of Kartoon
blasts
into the outersphere
a terrific fire
propelling
and pushing
and pulsating
the high techno, super lightweight,
superduper ultra alloy, outerspace  metal
mocalvinium,
flaming,
hurtling
its weightless
astronauts,  faces
pressed
against their visors which are
pressed
against the quadruple thickness,
built to last
in the vacuum of space portals
flashing
terrific grins,  no gravity,  hell bent.

by Calvin Burgamy







___________________________________________________________






FDR Built This Park



I can still hear the mighty hammers
of truth and justice and public opinion
clanging against the hard rock of the land
knocking out a great depression
picnic tables made from ropes
strong arms and B-52's
soaring from the mountain side
black and white, bricks and beer
a red white and blueprint and oh so green
bald eagles and wild turkeys
wild as broncos smoking FDR's tobacco
and now I sit here 50 years later
wishing Delano his large self and his rich sister
were right here
drinking our Budweiser, eating our potato salad
and seducing our neighbors
toasting the New Deal and Social Security
stacking the Supreme Court
gently reminding him not to say "japs"
and in general enjoying
the fine weather we're having
maybe he brought it with him




the boy poets remembering a distant time



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Muh-Muh-Muh My Fedora














left in the position of far and wide 
look to my fingers to see the other side 
on one side this and the other side that 
can't remember where I left my hat 
gat 
and then boom went the noise 
boom  
boom boom boom went the noise 
and I found my fedora 
yes, I found my fedora 
I'm tellin' you 
I found my fedora 
exactly where I left it




___________________________________________________________





Radio-Active

the sofa is a radio
the sofa is radio active
searching for signals
sit on the left, pick up NPR
on the right, get Fock Snooze
in the middle, all the hits
99x Robert “Bob” Robertson
laughing living loving lounging and loathing
coming at you 1000 miles an hour
from downtown Willacoochee, GA
straight from the heartland
straight from the atomic heart
the sofa is a radio-active
radio




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Rotel


Ro-tel 
motel 
coat tail 
blood cell 
ground swell 
death knell
ark cell 
farewell 
get well 
hard sell
misspell 
repel 
raise hell
propel
retell
soft sell
pastel
alarm bell
william tell
silica jell
liberty bell 



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Indelibility Study

how many edible seconds do you get?
as many as you crave
memory is a function of desire
desire, lust and sex
thirst and yearning
beast and angel
beagle and eagle
converging on this
moment
this bright night
howl at the moon light
this nice slice
the river writes itself



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Night Light



snow cones
in the snowfield
night light
made of daylight
amber lamps
and amber skies




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It'’s My Pencil and It’s Hip 
Formerly (“Marginalia”)
Copyright: 3 people with a pencil 
  
  
  

Writing 
with a thick carpenter’s pencil 
is work 
like trimming hedges 
laying asphalt 
or thinking 
I want a thin pencil, 
number 2, a clean, unused eraser, 
sharpened, hovering expectant….. 
                    ( like my favorite nipple ) 
  
  
schoolbus paint sporting an orange head 
better watchout  cuz she’s loaded with lead, 
quick on the draw, takin aim on the paper 
six sides shootin to a pointed taper 
the more you grind the sharper she gets 
I like my pencil more than jumbo jets --- 
she’s faster, you know, to any destination 
she flies to the limits of imagination 
  
my pencil is hip 
number 2 with a clue 
droppin lead on the page 
oh yeah, it’s the rage 
with a point to make 
or break 
as you will 
not a quill to dip 
on the renaissance trip 

It'’s My Pencil… And It'’s Hip                                            





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           [on the way to]
               My Car 

This is IT, crystal
these few steps, perfect
glow of lamplight on the windshield
beads of perspiration rolling down the side door
All pristine, suspended, as I approach
I see... the lock... down... and the keys...
in the ignition.
 Perfect.
My chrome head flies off
The panels of  a '49 woody wagon
come undone, a looping trajectory
one polished car door comes free
so I open it, slip in
"Where to?"  Nobody asked.
"Timbuktu," I didn't answer,
"and make it snappy."
....a path, a way, leading, meandering
forgetting the way to my car,
found myself unfound myself, laughing....
Perfect. 







_________________________________________________________

















twenty-nine feet above the back yard

I love it when
my mind is like a lightning bug
like a bright bug lit, flying
drawing my attention
into the sparking woods
firing
slow-motion flame
wild phosphorescence
music of the attic fan
syncopating
nine dimensional
illuminated chess games
twenty-nine feet above
my inner back yard


by  the boy poets in basic training



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You Need a License to Go to Cuba

you need a government license
to go ninety miles off the mainland

to an estranged island
frozen in 1959
’57 Chevy’s healthier there than here
voodoo catholic deities fix what you didn’t know
staring stoic from shiny reconstructed dashboards

Meyer Lansky still lives there
snookering dominoes at dawn
waiting for Castro to cough in the shadows

hotels with cracked plaster
and a smart pomade at the front desk
bleached tear-stained postcard villages
sun dried sandpapered and rough from time
soft as the Caribbean breeze
hard as the bite of dark local rum
offered up and drunk
at the feet of a sultry Jesus
who bleeds molasses
and does the meringuè
you need to be stamped or canadian
to go there
or make love to a diplomat
who will whisper “pocos nadas” in your
hairy Norte Americano ear
Cuba is way gone and back again
home of sugar tobacco steam
rum you’d drink with Mary Magdalene
six hour diatribes from comrade Fidel
the coolest heat and
the hottest cool
it hasn’t changed
we need a license
but we’re coming anyway


by the boy poets offshore, way offshore