Friday, January 17, 2014

She Fixed Me

with morphine sweeter than the desert.  Rainfall
[and the snake] silently assumed I would sleep
through morning, but it didn’t work out that way.
It was ridiculously hot inside.
Perhaps the partial psychological stress of sleeping in
unbreathing skin revolted the night. . .

I dreamed of concentration camps --
human ovens with matchstick hunger –
transforming into something . . .

Too thin to be human, their eyes bulged
and accused:  Everything burns; the flame
is but a crucible.  (It was the same phrase
I’d heard in my nightmare about the skeleton
going up in shrouded flame.)

[Hand]Standing To Be (Delivered?)
for Ben Johnson

The urge to master stone broke the chaos
of my mind’s statu[r]e.  I searched for any crack
that might be construed as a hold,
but the surface was too smooth (or I was),
and we slipped against each other
‘s grip at every angle.

I turned quickly to scatter

the remnants of my triumphant idea to the wind,
but the tale was tricky and hinged itself
on a blind[ing] blue maw-mouthed monster:
an anchor.  I accepted
this diminuated challenge as a renewed house
of launch:
                        Strike one:  Crash!
                        Swing two – an “ish” miss.
I regrouped for the third ballast.  I would not fall out!
A focus force locked.  My muscles’ memory st[r]uck . . .

A flash moment’s capture of matriculated success
heralded my feet a moment longer to the wind.
A change of plans that settled the upset,

as upside-down, the stone’s persistent ring continued
its haunting back in my view.

Running Water through Sound Waves

My mind begins to separate like sand. 
The water becomes hands, shapes my imagination
into textbook molds.  My thoughts grow towers,
dig moats, raise gates against the outside. 
Even wind cannot trespass my new fortitude.
For 11 hours I am queen of this depravation chamber.
Once  moon replaces sun, magic loses tangibility,
and an eruption of thunderous crushing comes
to topple metaphorical front
door.  I turn to statue, immobilized against this
onslaught.  I can only watch as my comforting dream
dissolves, devoured by midnight’s tide.

I Am Eve

First woman in your world,
part of your bones.  Removed,
I blossomed, a flower in the jungle
of your mind.  You wanted me
to be second, subservient.  I had
other plans, skipped dinner, brought you
dessert.  Instinctively, I knew apple
was your favorite, but
the bite came when you recognized
its understated hints of venom.  Too late.

A.J. Huffman

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My stalk sticks up from below my bellybutton/ I
   am a stalker, a corn stalker/ call me the kernel, my
      talking is major/ I'm General Mills/ if they knew of
my shenanigans, they'd give me corporal punishment/ they
  don't know because I keep it private, even if I have to
      buck up/ I'm stuck up as I fuck up, as I stalk her playing
        the field/ she calls the police on me, but Sgt Faulker is
     also a stalker & a non-stop talker/ he talks about the one
  he stalks/ they put him on a wire, the wire of desire because he
    can't stop stalking, but he sees another beauty & starts balking as
      he switches the object of his stalking & is in another corn field/ he
         approaches her from behind, ever so kind, but she says he's
            not her type/ his stalk wilts to the hilt in a forest of
                hair, all because she doesn't care, & now he's
                    old & tired/ as a stalker, he's retired!
            He puts his PECKER in a BOX &
                                 leaves it for the FOX &
                           goes TO SLEEP .  .  .
Fritz Hamilton
That Laugh

It was stupid of Walt
not to show it to Joan
before they got married
but he was too shy.
He had no idea 
what to expect
but he never expected 
her to laugh.
Not a laugh exactly, 
more of a cackle
children might hear 
from a witch on a broom
Saturday morning 
in a cartoon.

Joan's laugh rang out
the first night 
of their honeymoon.
Walt never got over it.
The marriage was over 
even if it continued
for six kids in ten years.
Like many men, Walt 
had no problem
copulating from afar
unencumbered by love.
It was dark in the bedroom.
Joan could have been
any woman.

Had he shown it to her
before they got married
and heard that laugh,
he would have left town,
embarrassed, you bet,
but there would have been
no wedding, no kids
no divorce, no years 
in a hotel room mailing 
alimony and support 

After the divorce
things didn't improve.
Walt heard the laugh
in his dreams, in cabs, 
on elevators, in diners,
everywhere he went
He heard it after the kids
earned degrees, 
got married, did
well on their own,
escaping the pyre
of their childhood. 

At Joan's funeral
Walt told the kids why 
the marriage had failed.
He said he shouldn't 
have shown her 
the poem the night 
they were married.
She laughed because
she thought it was funny.
She knew nothing 
about poetry,
nothing of his
efforts to write it.
This was his first poem,
the first of more than 500
published after the laugh.

Who'd believe a laugh 
could end a marriage
before it began?
Over the years Walt asked 
critics and editors 
for their opinions 
about the poem.
None found it funny.
The consensus was
the piece was tragic
in theme and imagery.
The experts were right
in more ways than one.

Donal Mahoney

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...