All the roses in all the gardens
In all the books you’ve never read,
Written by the poets, who,
Thankfully are dead,
Now flourish in my head.
The wisdom of these roses!
Content to grow and die,
Which pricked the lovers loving
Their centuries sliding by.
It won’t take so very long
To press their petals’ poses
In my lexicon of song.
Here, touch the pretty roses,
Just don’t linger long.
Here is a bed and here is a room
And here are the things that happen to you…
Here is the fly on the window ledge
Near the web formed too quickly and too soon,
And out this window and across this street
Lives the man that will stab your father,
Smiling and dancing with a beautiful woman.
And next door playing on the lawn
Are boys who will grow up to be liars
That polish dimes with your wives' favorite dresses.
And this is the wood
Your mother wants the coffin made of,
And here, again, but for the last time,
Appears the enchanted child,
Stepping out of a bleak hallway
Into the living room.
She cups her hands into your cold world
And brings up a spider that speaks to you:
It's coming, it's coming,
What will you do?
I went to Heaven
And couldn’t stand it.
I found a girl
Gliding gleeful in the golden fields.
She was cute and
Was using her halo
As a frisbee
To play with the
While she rested
I crept up and
Strangled her with the halo
Till her heaven breath went
Carrying her angel corpse
I marched to God
He looked at her
Then at me
With his beard
His contrived spectacles
Why not? I whimpered
Dropping the cadaver in a cloud.
And kissed me
On the cheek.
Pasts and futures quarrel and inevitably elope.
Mrs. How Do You Do? preens the curtains
while Ms. Miss Me Please fixes drinks
for Mr. Ivory Elbows and Mr. Huff This
and Huff That
Who stand bowlegged and morose
Smoking cigars in the den.
A girl stroking a harp in the next room
begins to cry...
A widow sings
in the meadows to the west.
She sings because her husband
has died. She sings
joyously and long. She sings
Damn, I love those cheshire lips,
the way the glance survives the kiss,
the sway of autumn in the glass
of strangers’ cars that seem to pass
too fast for destined eyes to meet
the lives they now must surely miss.
Damn, I love those cheshire lips,
their brilliant chatter between sips
of thirty-dollar chardonnay
we bought today, just for today.
Yours thirst for mine, and mine for yours;
let our lashes lead the way
from childish trappings of dismay
to the tongue-filled, frameless doors.
You've become a seagull,
Glad and creeping
Towards my tongue,
Blood in your song.
When I turn away
You move faster.
I only studied the horizons
To bring us closer.
Welcome to my home,
Have a look around…
What is this? my guests stammered.
Reds, blues, greens, yellows--
Where do you keep all the blacks?
And the grays, where do you hide those?
This is just where I live, I said.
No, they said, this is just too much.
I had no idea.
If you want our advice,
Don't get involved in that Hope business.
It doesn't sell.
And it's just bad taste!
Stick to Frustration. You're good at that.
And don't even think about Love poems.
You'd make an ass of yourself.
Or worse. Don't
If you know what's good for you.
Don't dare. Don't.
I nodded till they'd gone,
And after quietly shutting the door,
Before doing something untoward.
I seemed small too once
and moved apace.
My hands opened doors and I ran
Out, out looking for treasures.
Come back and put your mess away!
My apronless mother calls from the porch.
Do I want the big or the little cup?
A red or blue one?
How could I know,
the boy confused by joy
who couldn't place
his own gasping?
It seemed so easy then,
Nathan Woods, editor/overlord