Saturday, January 22, 2011

Olios And Obbligatos

—Photo by Robin Gale Odam, Sacramento

TINTYPES 2002— Frederick, Joyce and Theodore
—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA

Just understand the enormity
to yielding to conformity
to be the same is an abnormality
a form of spiritual frugality.

Same shapes, same thoughts, same clothes
always an easy wayfare to control
don't put butter on your hot crossed rolls
fight a war in Iraq for petrol.

Today, he will move away
doesn't mind the loss of pay
proclaims he may be partly gay
just watches water lapping in the balmy bay.

She just declares every other Tuesday
the latest, coolest form of Booze Day.

Neckties are a type of jail
subject the throat into holy hell
supervisors see them as the holy grail

he said my soul they do impale.

Choices we should uphold
life always needs tangier spice
think and be always bold
otherwise mankind

is now a new type of two-legged lice.


—Michael Cluff

varicose veins and all
wandering through a sewer system
x-factor on a full rampage
yanking the wings off wyandotte ducks
zodiac now full of blood
all because of his lack of insight
balancing the monastic calendar
cabbalistic dementia
deluged with false sacrifices
eliciting Palovovian responses
fried via junkets across Ionian,
Grecian seas
humming to himself
"I will be home soon
journey now ended
killing fields will no longer reap
largesse and looted and loutish
marinated, mangled corpses
no more."
Oretes suffered the same
placental inheritance
quivering on the edge of a
rocky road roiling with
steers bloody and brindled
tossed from wave to wave on the way back west.

Suppression needs its own rest
filet mignons seldom borrowed
jerboas will have to do instead
veronicas speed well towards soignee
gazpacho is gehenna to some
hubris not such a homely dish
unless tabors fall out of tune;
mandibles stretch to ingest
limber egrets under plexiglass
ionized by purdah-less woman
bold enough to be themselves
timberlines are descending as you speak
kleig lights miss the point and quaffle and peculate
cinders rival nuggets in popularity
ergots and feigning aside
xebecs have floated up the Columbia
deterimental to the volcanoes' cones
rife with fruition
wainscottted on kiwi and tangerines
auburn in the luciferic maw and purl
quaint and papal in some minds
noted for sang froid
zithers, fleur de lis, olicooks
olios and obbligatos
pandemic soul.


—Michael Cluff

A worm is swirling
counterclockwise in the lens
of Doctor Farr's eye.


Staring 'cross the interstate
she will never take to see Kate
beyond the county line
health of all sorts in decline,
Sharine aims her wormy gun
in a little spate of fun
at the windmill at Sierra and Sixth
taking Quixote out of myth
into the reality of depression and mental miasmas
her shots cause EMRs to bring saline and plasmas

In the Jack-in-the-Box franchise
Howard nibbles at his starchy fries
hears the ping and ding from the metal oval above
sighs and heads home to ponder and then comfort his love
the police never keep her long
the bullets blanks, her aim too wrong
to cause nothing more than a tiny fury
no need to take it judge or jury.

Sharine has lost too much already
especially her other daughter Nettie,
life is just too rough for some
Howard just smiles, she's at least no longer a bum.

—Michael Cluff


—Michael Cluff

Peter Johnson and I
were found to be different
and then fired from the high school
because of it.

They never checked the rumor
just dismissed us
without pay

Myspace can be a wicked place
that's why he and I
don't use it anymore
but others apparently do.

We had our clothes on
at least.


—Michael Cluff

From Baku to Ulm
to Pau to Nazare
I ran in a personal marathon
one step ahead
of death
in late summer

Shtetl living
was not as bad
as what was to come
and with my years
of intense training
for an Olympics not to come

I tried to leave pogroms
and Nazis
one harried step behind
from the Caspian Sea to the Danube
to the Portugese Atlantic coast
I went alone

then to the Isle of Mull
to Mentone

and still
after seventy years
away from Old World waters
I am always running still.


Today's LittleNip:

—Robin Gale Odam

perfectionist tortured by
normality can’t pick out a
peach every one looks better
than the first


—Medusa (with thanks to today's contributors. And check out our new feature, Submission Tip of the Week, at the bottom of the skinny green box on the right!)

Last Night's Moon
—Photo by Robin Gale Odam