—Tim Bellows, Sacramento
Yellow Corvette, turquoise stripe
nine inches wide—clear down the center.
‘Vette pulls up at Mandarin and Vine.
It’s a got-it-made convertible
muttering in the bright day.
Blonde woman at the helm, sapphire dress.
Arms bare, draped over the wheel.
Ah, blonde woman driving.
Gorgeous. And she’s one strange miracle
as she frowns all through the stoplight,
frowns as she
INSOMNIAC FINALLY SLEEPS,
FINALLY WAKES, WRITES HIS POEM
Was that a film about our jet fighter crash?
Is it still rolling? Seems I’m in the cockpit,
all of us pilots concerned we’re losing power
as the foothills rise up. Down and down we go.
We shake the black box, slap whirring control panels—
such imperious entities around us to make us brave
as the gray blur of hills keeps rising.
Ah, life. We do what we can. Things are
what they are. Death is what it is as dusk
spreads its anesthetic on the shrubbed ground.
Now we’re spliced into another scene.
We’ve gotten through the crash, fanned out
on a dreaming land. We find the cedar cabin,
step in, sweep up, set a pan under the kitchen sink
for drips, set cast iron pots on the stove for stew meats,
carrots, herbs, a broth mix. We notice the two suns
lowering, lowering as dusk takes on their yellow-violet hue.
In this we will live, comrades awaiting the next mission out.
It’ll be go, soon as we’ve rummaged for our equipment.
Radios, leather helmets, pocket watches
inherited from grizzled fathers
who crashed long ago and now
inhabit another cabin
in another film.
DREAM AFTER THE POETRY READING
It’s Gary Snyder, older, draped around
his fragile bones. In straw sunhat.
He embraces my meadow-blonde gal.
He has such power: Look! Her far-off eyes
now slow like the best of poems,
the best of passions.
Braille would become a sickly ___ille
the li___rian would hush you
we would have to catalog a whole new
subphylum of inverte___tes
your ___nd new car would lose some value
the Irish would say Erin go ___ugh
UNITED WE STAND
There is a saying that imitation
is the sincerest form of flattery
that's why copying test answers is OK
"I'll have what he's having" can be
a compliment to good judgement
or the character flaw of laziness
that oh-so-precious right to vote
invites shepherds to tell their flock
precisely what to think, whom to hate
If only courtesy could be codified
the driving privilege would not be
extended to rude, belligerent people
we tolerate small flaws from aspiring singers
and dancers, but if a writer pens "to" for "too"
the floodgates of criticism open wide
Six is unlucky for me
lucky for you
I'll stop here
THE ODE TO SUCCESS
(is paved wtih good attempts that fail)
It didn't rhyme, it didn't flow
it didn't have a beat
alliteration missed the boat
that only had one seat
but there it was with engines roaring
leaving most behind its wake
advertising a brand of ale
that would surely take the cake
a host of fans remains there still
offering praises to its speed
their glasses kept dry and empty
by an ale too fast to read.
As a small child I found
even more so because
we rarely went
on one occasion
at the last hole
I hit a hole in one
past the windmill blade
and won a card for a free game!
we never went back there
arrived at hospital
7 o'clock pm
Full staff present
8 o'clock pm
8 pounds, 4 ounces
healthy baby boy!
mother and son doing fine
29 years and counting
In the backyard we have
a dwarf apple tree
quite young yet
Poetry is like
life. While you’re
making it, you
never quite know
where it’s going,
or why or
how. You only
know that Furies
and winds dashing
against white summits
await your bravery.