Sunday, July 26, 2020

John Zedolik writes

The Reins
Two pigs, one unleashed,
have purpose in the park—

acorns under the civic oaks
that bear their bounty every fall—

so snouts to the grass and straight
to the trunk, reined slightly back or not,

nimble even carrying their weight
upon hooves peeping between the blades,

the tender, upright and obedient,
follows to the source, a glutton

for the gathering of two intent
upon the yet-giving earth

whose final skin peels off
under their snuffle and twitch,

yielding to those whose appetite
and will masses with much greater press. 

John Zedolik writes

Ars Vbique Est                                                 

Our generously arced spigot
in the half-bath reflects
the faux-gilt and frilled

mirror of this home’s previous
owner into a semblance
of Munch’s screaming man,

but I am at relative ease so
acknowledge the pain the lips
on the chrome, pursed into an “O,”

express, wash my hands, pump
the dispenser of liquid lavender soap
so lose sight of the little

agonized simulacrum of the brush,
turn off the light, rest assured
the tortured face and matching eyes

will be waiting with their angst
and dread whenever I need a shot,
a taut perspective, of immortal gloom.

[Ars vbique est = Art is everywhere] 
Figure on cliffside walkway holding head with hands
 The Scream -- Edvard Munch

John Zedolik writes

Doubtful Armor                                                     

The tale, over tea and coffee
on an easy Saturday evening
was of loosed armadillos,

minor mayhem and mischief
on a hotel floor then false
reporting to earnest police,

which yarn elicited laughter
from the group whose members
were reveling in their third decade,

some parenting and some almost,
so what better than a story
of those southern scramblers

of neutral to unattractive temper
on account of their small brains,
according to the raconteur,

in contrast to these relatively
young and prosperous representatives
of a species with much larger

noggins and proportionate brains encased
to boot though without the plating
the old Spanish attributed

to the low mammal, so needing
at times such diversions concerning
carpet-covering chaos little critters

and other unthinkers bring.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

John Doyle writes

The Lesser-Known Presidential Assassinations
For Alyssa Trivett

I was born with lots of things across my hands,
snowflakes, blood, 

water from the Rio Grande.
Nothing compromised the science 

of each individual component,
snow-drifts grew larger, 

started a family,
moved north, blocking tin-can Ford trucks on freeways.

The blood I took, 
I added it to the bones from lesser-read pages in the Holy Book,

Adam had sisters, brothers, no-one spoke of, 
Eve was married twice before.

The lesser-known presidential assassinations spring-up
from tributaries of the Rio Grande,

William McKinley -
A good Protestant

County Antrim name
with sizzling stagecoach wheels

in thickened rains - gives church-yard
its Sunday chatter. 

James Garfield is mentioned in archives
where cigars, brandy

and the Witherspoon family 
of New England make generous donations

to rebuild our church-hall blown down 
in the winds and rains of 1908.

I was born with lots of things across my hands,
it's a map that remains,

its fauna blotchy
like dead animals hunting near a desert dirt-track

mutes and blind-folk 
were too terrified to rub with tar.

This is the word of someone's Lord;
Praise Be

John Doyle writes

Migratory Birds Going Home to Africa

The radio was shouting at you, pleading with you...
David Byrne

Vaguely orange with offerings of brown,
such a rusted sky - 

vapor-trails like Nuada's veins.
On the radio tonight I pretend it's Carl Corcoran

whom I've missed like an Uncle gone to war.
Carl plays Heartland Rock, Carl plays Afrobeat,

I remind myself every April, as this requiem is due-
about now - all these birds who fly southerly, 

marmalade-burned sundown, grass still brown.
It's five inches-high at our crossroads -

three local streams meeting like Uncles returned from war,
and I smell the farm and primary river

they flow to, sometimes - summer maybe, but usually April,
birds' whooshing chatter that plays Heartland Rock

on the radio, now that Africa is leaving.
Hey there Carl, tell me

if anyone is listening anymore,
on a transistor radio in a tent, something orange flashes overhead…?

John Doyle writes

I’ll Send You a Postcard Tomorrow Amelia, That I Promise

Negatives of my shoelaces
fade from my shins
as I dissolve into my myself,
appearing moments later

as an acrobat in Rush and Lusk Station
haunted by the puppeteer
who pulled the children
like seaweed from the waters -

it makes a believable alibi
explaining myself 
to a man checking tickets
who spent last night sleeping

in a wooden hotel from the late 19th Century
while his wife, son and daughter
trotted off to Sunday School

Arlene Corwin writes

 Two Looks At The First Reality 
 (or What or Who creates it all)

Depending on one’s leanings,
And assuming one is interested,
I, myself am all-enthralled 
By themes self-vested in.

One view is that Reality, the Primary
Is really One, without a sun - just one Entirety.
The second is the same Supreme
With arms, legs, body, plus an aim;
One which we address by name.
Who often spotlights sin and blame
But calls on us to love our neighbour -
Finely tuned through daily labor.

I find I prefer the former:
One which says that causes good in motive, act
Result in good-ness as a fact;
And causes whose intents are wrong
Though mind is rational and sharp 
Will end in ends that taint and warp. 

Each theory is complementary.
Depending on how you are born
(with preferences pre-natally ‘learned’)
You can arrive one early morn
At one with It-The-Energy,
Free from all impurity.

These little stanzas simplify
A lifelong try
At transformation.
Drawing on our screwed-up best
At wrestling with the gifts and mess 
We’re born to guest.