Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bad Poems Written By Famous Poets (Issue #5)

A Banana In The Moon by Lawrence Ferlinghetti  

Walk these streets in a sour and confused state, tongue firmly planted inside cheek. Lonely gargoyles? Check. Had to tooth it between Jones and Taylor. Forget it. I’m made for spying on guys carrying gas cans into alleyways. I’m on a list of automobile deserters. I don’t make small talk with strangers. Checkerboard windows overlooking cityscape of drab off-whites and clay-baked roofs. I do not have time for troublemakers. Please, tip me over so I can swim before I fall uphill. Torment the jackhammers of the morning with silence. Toss potato peels to the pigeons. Take care of my debts with horseshoes and Barleywine. Just don’t let the ribbons of your past get tied together to trip you or bind your hands. The tenement buildings and scrubbed-clean Vicotrians line up across from each other along the narrow one-way, steeped in some stolid posture of repose. Lines forever drawn in cement and in stone. I am idling near their prospects. Brandishing a lightheaded nerve, a mordant glee like pain’s joy, I co-opt a few dreamy misgivings from the liquor store and make reluctant thoughts my give-and-take glory. “Hop to it,” scream the socialite worms. “It is high about time nigh that you wrap your head around some of this gunk. Just you hurry. Wait.” The real indiscretion here is one of lazy bumptious swagger. The real culprit is a sad Blue Jay named Robin. Well, there’s more clomp left in these shoes then you’d think. But how happy we used to be sitting in sun-filled windows drinking beer. And now, well, the windows have all gone dark and the bottle’s filled with gnats, and I sing of listless things that round corners in the dark. You too might meekly rankle the leeway of power from fading daylight. A shift in temperament might be nice. Think of it: a daring welt in the surface of being you for a moment. Trouble is, we don’t make music out of enough of it. Trouble is. We’re down and off key, swinging with simplicity, implicitly troubled, late-sleeping bastards that we are, walking past liquor stores a few times before going in. It’s lights out in Worry City. I am not ever ready, and I don’t ever make my bed. The go is all gone from my afternoon. The watchers of game shows take the rift from the spoils and eat cake for lunch. I get wished a nice day about a hundred times a day by people who talk into their collars, who sniff the wonder from their lives with phone calls, who make money and then die with it. We are all steamed with bored delusions of everything being locked and simple into the memory our portable devices. There are no contact lists in heaven; I’m pretty sure of it. But in hell? Who’s to say it’s any worse than this? Download my sentiments. Store them for a later date. No. Shit. Here it is: Take pleasure in noticing the smallest things, the things nobody else notices. Be the tangible and incoherent and abstract nothing that you are at all times. Scrape by, just barely. Eke out what you can from the corrupt and twisted dynamics of the thing. And at last, be alone. After all, you are nothing without it. Could the rest of our cares wash the streets free of who we’ve been up until now? It’s a tossup, and I’m up for none of it. Down, down, down, down. That is all that is left.   

The Oldest Cowboy In The Bar by Randall Jarrell 

sail or search out
in for it
rallying past a cry
to top or shove
glamour down
guess first
it’d test out
it’d drum for the lights
fashion taps at fingers
swell at last
to guess closer
still swimming
out of it
keep shaving
keep in gear
we are not memories
the moon’s hung with violets
blunder better
we get mentioned
we get so tired of our own company
there’ll be a piano in the swimming pool
there’ll be ruins to explore
rattling traps
something leveled serious
through cahuengas of drift
no mottled cheer
no chancier weather than this
some dusky loft of complacency
grouped apart
there isn’t an ask left in us
so we cull a try
from a swarm of weddings
that’ll do no bad
that’ll pan fries and unplug the fridge
born right away from
vanished stereos translating love
into money
upped all the way down
only to swing with less sweep
bowling for neckties
a stick that squares
and doesn’t stay
eons gone since a last kiss
picked between strawberries
we’re hardly figured 
perpendicular to all parallels
in voice-activated gloom
as taxi lights
draw us asleep without windows
like lassoed clarinets whispering last call
all will be 
fine and magnificent
in the end

popular kids by Robert Frost (found scribbled on a napkin tucked away in a Band-Aid box in his old medicine chest)

you don’t like me as much as it’s true that one could like another one too we’ve had this hard-up time to spend in other lives and through other windows but you don’t like me and that’s for sure because my lawyer she tells me so before the money’s gone at least we’ve got each other but then again you can’t stand me and you’re on the way to other lives and you’re getting used to looking through other windows so that’s just something I can’t control so I guess I’ll run down to the shoreline and make some use of these sea legs at last at least until the money’s gone or my heart so I guess I can be free but who cares because you don’t like me because you can’t stand the sight of me because you want to erase me from your memory for all time and you you you you don’t like me at all no not at all and I am free and everything is never going to be okay again

Testament To A Goner by Patti Smith

A glob of yellow moon’s slopped on under night’s black eyes,
and Merle sits still on a curb
contemplating the sound that buses make going by,
and this while rummaging in copper-plated visions over another snack-less midnight.  
And this, too,
another “this too”
to add to the spreadsheet of her existence.
A bit of basil soaked in her thoughts,
it’s now that’s gone.
Comestible thoughts,
she thinks.
That sure does it.
She doesn’t think
it’ll be ever by noon again
in any hovering slowpoke of a way.
The greyhound clouds are escorting misbehaving stars on treasure hunts,
cruddy as Merle sees it.
And alone’s a disaster
she craves to be hers
A signpost she kicks at,
one that might as well read:
“Does not play well with others.”
But others play her like a Chopin nocturne.
But others…
It’s a swell that wanes to wax another day.
It’s the taffy stretch of care
swirled with smiled shadows,
with indifference and plunged compassion.
Merle stands up and does her best Harpo Marx,
balancing on her toes
on the curb edge,
off kilter and right in time
with the swayed shoulders of her past.
With what’s a battery-powered gumption
at least a sunstroke away
for her now
it is every girl for her
which of course
in the gory streetlight’s sodium yellow
it is,
but just another
of course
hounding graver eyes than
any streetlights she’s ever thrown
a rock at
or stood beneath
just to be below something
that glowed
or suddenly broke
and then
just did not.