Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bad Poems Written By Famous Poets (Issue #9)

What Scatters To Stay by Emma Goldman

Oscar Micheaux clambered for no attention other than what he didn’t get. And there you have it, sort of.
Reality, like a baby carriage clothed in sunshine, he roared some of what he’d known.
The censors wanted it all cut, fearing riots.
Simplicity would not do. He wanted bared life shown, as ugly and magnificent as it could be.
Restless, railroaded from Dallas, S. Dakota to Metropolis, Illinois,
swindled out of his last two dollars,
over and over,
while the pen of his unlucky homesteading stayed true.
Some wounds you can lick,
but there are some that’ll lick you,
as the kisses stop in wayward telegrams.
In the end there could only be valiant tries,
cragged lifts of dampened but indomitable spirits,
and to grate grave blocks of dullness into glittery specks of hope.
To smash box offices or sell lemons to car dealers,
even in the crumble of courage left in his haunted shoulders,
to scuffle and mumble, “Left Urbana on a tired, old freight train,
to never see Champaign again, not for me or for them,
thirsty dying as hunger wanes.”
And there should be no glitzy award bearing thy name
if presented in the false bower of guilt and remorse,
and I too know what’ll do--
and of more import,
what most certainly
will not.

You Used To Know A Place Like Me by Oscar Wilde

            Not in it for the sport of it, not in it at all, in the head, in the foot, in the hard-to-say places, in the where and in the why-if-not of it.
            Not here for the there of it.
            And you blame the half-found guilt riding around busted and ashamed of saying things like names. Really not liked.
            Catchers all die the hard way. Trust is in the cake of it.
            Aren’t the holds of hemmed days set apart? Likely chambray lining for the overcast liveliness of not-so-current events.
             Ghosts don’t hold enough baggage, here, in the prairie dark, in the hollowed out hill shade, in the pour and cling of it, in the ready not-so as it never does, as any never plugs into a for or an ever.
            Flung from a flaming trail to a suckered temper’s gone, it’s advice from a plugged gap in a cracked dram of dream.
            You who see and don’t at all, you see, these days, they’ve got each other, but it is just I who don’t get to have them anymore.

The Amish Farmer’s Day Off by Wendell Barry

we Wilt the Way corn’s shucked
laughter Forks over its Berry Weather
and the air is Swelled with borrowed promise
only now
like a Motor horsing in the Rain
thoughts Dovetail and Lock as
it’s been a long time since i danced like that
Bushed and forever cutting teeth
Tallied Out
the wind that Passes for To-morrow sleeps without a job to do
and i submit to Change
the crackling of Flames and
Rosy-Hued Triangles
plow the Past Tense from my dreams
as i tug this wispy beard
while wiping clean the Empty Place above the Upper Lip
as i Crane and Gape at
smoke seen from a Window
left to Wonder
which side of the glass we’re left with
after Nature’s indifference  
Ruins and Restores anew
what was Eyeing an
in-the-first-place Scheme
deserting less than This
creeping slow at the Doorstep
of what Anybody
would Ever be scared  
to Ever

Aerobics Done Without Air by Nelson Algren

            The city fuses with your senses, runs gray in your veins, and cracks your footsteps with flat sheets of metal covering ditches dug into the streets all day by men with hardhats and orange vests. The alleys charm your wherewithal, and you plunge nose first, carrying your wits in a pink plastic bag reading Thank You in white italic letters…Lord have mercy upon me… I will lay bare my toilet-roll mush of ecstatic visions within the bounds of 2nd comings and painted windows…The age is false, so coming into contact with the truth of others, whether one’s own truth or there’s, is what the approved sort of madness might allow…Little truths are not building blocks; they are all each complete on their own...The space we keep is sweetly our own… The angles of cylinders will do it to you…The way god smiles in movies…Then there’s the hashings of suicide-cases averted by digital numbers flashing on neon signs…The architecture of tree branches…The unisons of movement…Bent clutter of roads…Be not afraid…A bench to rest on delivers the news with a butchered insight…Go plain…Go dizzy…Be untapped…Lord chance my ways…A nuzzling of toothy naivety strips raw the white from the bone…Fixed to circle…Grown to be little.       
A Tidy Mexican Divorce by Malcolm Lowry

i hadn’t even checked the weather report
and let me just say
there wasn’t a thing triumphant about it
the shirt tug with an unsure grip
the undone tie almost smiling between frowning lapels
the gladiolas ashamed of their swords
splashing umber all over the barroom floor
celebrations of holiday-less months
tipped-over shot glasses
a hole in the ceiling showing a scrap of moon
thrown-away things
what we never thought we’d have to begin with
downing doubles in the smashed shards of failed revolutions

very soon
very soon
mi amor
there will not be wilted petals in the beer
this time around

i hadn’t even checked a mirror in days
my shoes were harried with holes
and the guesses of who
were frowning into why
these casual mistakes that we all make
in borrowed suits and mistimed smiles
become the less of what we are
my ears are gone to the carnival
ship my remains to the butcher

i haven’t even swam in the ocean today