Sunday, August 21, 2016

Because It's National Poet's Day

Here's a handful of poems written by Jonathan--selected from a file titled "Personal Favorites as Judged By Me"... 


Oh, to have invented the universe!
To have fashioned the kit-and-caboodle
From silly-string and nitroglycerine.
Oh, to have been the wit
To come up with it

Oh, to be the topmost link in the chain!
To preside and ride magic-carpetly
Over seraphim and dandelions.          
                        Oh, to never go
                        Above or below

Oh, to be deciphered a priori!
To be the primest number, the peerlessest
Civilian in all possible worlds.
                        Oh, to be only Am,
                        Forever wide and
Oh, that I had known me in the womb!
To have witnessed my shift from globule
To thumb-sucking roly-poly.
Oh, to have known my
Fortunate stars by



There’s this man by the river strumming an arch-top Gibson
                        Singing antique songs, and this loose-dressed woman
                        Who dances beside him—harmonizing, clapping,
            Luring cash into the coin-poor case; and they made me want
                        To dust off my handful of chords and play.

There’s this woman down the lane disappearing into sun-glare,
                        Posing with the live oaks, far beyond the camera’s focus,
                        Who adorns herself with Spanish moss—a crown,
            A shawl, a boa to her hips; and she made me want
                        To forget my limping leg and sprint the promenade.

There’s this man in Chippewa Square twisting palmetto roses,
                        Telling vast lies—the blind gullah
                        Who taught him the many underlaps  
            And overtucks of the trade—and he made me want
                        To close my eyes and fashion a flower from a tree.

Bear and Salmon (Live-Cam at Brooks Falls)

Brown bear atop the falls, eyes
Locked on the foam; an urgency

Of fins pelt the heron-
Patient beast—portrait of awkward

Majesty.  When now and then
Lucky maws clamp in purchase,

She shoulders into the plunge
To eat her catch on the banks,

Trailed by a covetous gull.

What Seemed Like Good Ideas

Karaoke at Gabe’s for the umpteenth,
Singing country for cowboys dribbling
Swill on shave-nicked chins and calling
For encores.

Ordering curried fish in London first
Things first, to pop off a flare for fitting
In—wincing at warm bitters and staring
Whole fish in the eyes.

Pushing all in against a sprung-eyed
Geezer with seven ways of grinning,
None of which guaranteed a sure-fire
Flush or higher.

Quarry dives at Warrior, skinny legs,
White and wobbling, water-painted girls
Dripping mascara, quoting movies
We liked that summer, that summer in particular.

Crash course mistakes learned hard
Against the Gulf Coast, knee-deep in cold
Breakers, feet numb, and paper-white herons
Scaring the rest of the hell out of me.

Days set aside for anticipating nights
When the kaleidoscope rattled, twisted
By unseen hands—tree branches cricketing
Havoc on the stars.