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?

—Pretty true.

—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.

—Pretty much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VERY

"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.

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