Featured Poet: Bill Yarrow
GET AWAY FROM THE WHEEL
Be the mast, not the master
Never enter an open door
Old oil in new engines
Unwarp the corpse
Incite the guillotine
Be absolute for dearth
Leave a bloody fuckin' mess
Let your infection be your bride
FATUOUS DIALOGUE #1
—Was it true, what you wrote in that poem?
—What do you mean “pretty true”? Was it true or wasn’t it?
—It was as close as you get to truth in poems.
—I don’t understand.
—Poems says things like, “It was sunny when I knocked out Bobby Arnstein’s teeth.” Maybe it was sunny. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was Jimmy Irving not Bobby Arnstein whose teeth I knocked out. Maybe I didn’t knock out Jimmy’s teeth at all. Maybe I just pushed him. Maybe he hit his head on the railing. Maybe he didn’t. Maybe his mother came running out screaming at me. Maybe she didn’t. Maybe I didn’t smell her perfume mixed with the stink of ginko berries as she stood over her unconscious boy. Maybe I did.
—So, poems are lies.
"I could make you VERY happy," she cooed. "I've
learned that the people who can make me very happy
can also make me very unhappy," he said. "I can make
you VERY famous," he offered. "I've found that the people
who can make me VERY famous aren't really thinking
about me," he said. "We could make you VERY important,"
they promised. "For forever or for a day? I'm not sure
I even understand what you're offering me," he returned.
"I can make you VERY rich," he insisted. "Rich in hope,
I suspect," he replied. "I can improve your health," she
volunteered. PAUSE. "Really? Well, I might be interested,"
he stammered. She continued: "But there's a cost, you
know." "I'd be VERY surprised if there weren't," he sighed.
THE RISING TIDE
The new world is filled with old people
with good posture and a disdain for odd
postures. I'm just a rental dog myself
looking for the guardian of starlight
peeing on the expired parking meters
and barking up all the wrong trees.
A decade ago, I was new myself. They
put me in the factory next to six-fingered
Marie and gave me tea biscuits and sugar
water at four-hour intervals. My hands
crumpled from the iron work and only
a jug-handle yoga pose could unbend me.
And so will it be with my soulless effigy
as proleptic ratiocination seeps into itself
and disappears, as the polished ego dips
directly into dullness, as Ivan Karamazov
deliquesces, as Imlac loses his footing, as
Lear begins to stink, as Pangloss rises again.
CALL TO ARMS
As the commodities market is closed
for repair, and as young girls in filigree
slips will one day clutter its brackish aisles,
I call upon all cashiers in dungarees who bag
skeins of possibility to contact their flaccid
pastors who, alert to maladroit nuance,
will bedevil the stingy hinges to revision.
As the accommodation lobby is locked
for holiday, and as fey valedictorians with filigree
degrees will one day flourish in its airtight aisles,
I call upon the baristas in rags who courageously
defend the multi-colored flag children
also to denounce their precinct captains
for they, being inopportune, will no longer serve.
As the consolation mall is marked for demolition,
and as blue-collar bankers with filigree fears will one day
reconfigure its darkened aisles, I call upon those whose
blistered consideration waxes their weakling conscience
to divest themselves of the diet that bloats their colons
with Sagittarian wind and, with unfettered jubilation,
marry themselves to anyone spiritually innocent of crime.
As the turbidity district is targeted for annexation,
and as the army of misanthropes with filigree
whips will one day co-opt its mosaic aisles,
I call upon all those deracinated by dreaming big,
and all those assassinated by dreaming small, to burn
their fish-oil capsules, to shred their certificates of privilege,
and to reach inside alarm and pluck temerity out.