Monday, October 27, 2014

Zombies, Wind-Horses & Jack O'Lanterns

—Evan Myquest, Rancho Murieta

A knock at our door
Finds us at home
So much at home

We disturb very little
No rearranging furniture
No messing with the thermostat
No fighting over the remote
We don't harass the live ones
Who act more dead than we do

A darling couple
We couldn't love them more
If they were dead

But these television dramas they watch
Are giving dead a bad smell

So be our guest
To be at home with us

Ignore the zombies


—Evan Myquest

I cursed the darkness and would not shine the maglite because then I would curse the light. So I cursed my eyes, swigged my beer, and then I ran into a man who had no Times Roman.

I twisted her arm and ran off with her purse, and then I met a man who could never have afforded Helvetica.

I fell down after stubbing my toe on a root-lifted sidewalk and cursed my feet, and then I met a man who had no Franklin Gothic at all.

I put my back into the crowbar at the convenience store back door to get at the register when I saw a man who had a holstered Garamond.

I thought I'd blown out my knee again trying to dodge store security when I saw a man with Arial scars.

I felt my stomach contract after I boosted the Lexus and knew it was going to erupt when I saw a man who had no Courier.

I ran from the house I was robbing when I heard the siren and that was when I saw the one-armed man without Bookman Old Style.

I slapped the vein on my arm and was about to spike when I saw the man without so much as a gram of pure Lucida.

I was aware of the thump and two bumps but drove away even faster when I saw the man without a shred of Calibri.

I pointed the gun in my pocket at the trembling store clerk when I saw up in the aisle mirror a man who had no Prestige.

I ran from the helicopter's lights and the gathering squads but they cornered me with the dogs as the man with the Verdana jacket pointed them to me.

I did look good as the judge entered the courtroom and recognized me despite the new suit and Comic Sans.

I let them strap me to the table without a protest when I looked up and saw through the window a laughing reporter who had no Cambria.


—Evan Myquest

Ah, he said,
Then he pulled out a part
Put in a new thingamajig
And said, Okay then
Pushed the button
Listened for the correct whir
Wasn't satisfied
Ratcheted a gear or something
Listened again and declared it good
He wondered how long
It had been out of whack which was
Nothing he could do anything about
But he wondered still the same

And on every little class-seven planet
All the people—all of them
Clutched their throats and died

As suddenly
They were replaced one for one
By billions
Of kittens and puppies

Driving in the parking lot by the now-empty OSH building next to the Arden Way Safeway
   I see a homeless man propping himself up under its awning
   I thought, since it's probable no other corporation is going to buy the building
   Why not have it house homeless, rather than let it decay in its abandonment?
   Living units could be built inside, and the former garden center could be used to grow food
   People could get used to the homeless living in the suburbs in this way 

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

What is it that makes us interpret the world
with hands and fingers pressing for cold places to heat,
or door-spans of hot-to-the-touch? What makes
all we know a groping downward into ice-chill or fire-dark?

And is life truly a blacker and blacker sequence of steps?
If all our loving and fighting ascends at last
to somewhere loftier, why do we treat it
so crassly? Why can we not rise, from bed,

from certain death, from rejection or failure,
without complaint? (Have our bodies not complained
already, dog-silent, for us?) Some dream downward
through mattresses; I gripe, loudly: I wish I had more time,

to dream, yes, also to write, to perform music. But a lack
of anything, felt deeply, is it not the restraining wall
that props the narrow door? We see, we feel within
the narrow spaces. We learn with limits.

A famous artist had to cover a vast ceiling
with religious paintings, “appropriate figures.”
He had to cram his world, awkward ceiling triangles
and all, into his design. He dripped red on the floor.

He dripped blue on the priests. He had to strain
his neck day after day painting upwards high
over his spattered head while standing, or later,
while lying down aching and reaching. Halfway through,

everyone (except him) agreed the painting was
a masterpiece in the making. Figures appropriate,
inappropriate, bursting the constraints:
nudes with muscles bunched as garlic cloves,

index fingers meeting charged with sacred sparks,
with hornets, with particle beams. And how
did the painter respond? He went
and wrote a poem—a good one—replete

with complaints, complaints, complaints, about limits!


—Tom Goff

I miss you, not altogether and forever—you’re still
around—but never see you as often as I long to.
We lead such different lives, but the fun was that we were
heavenly bodies colliding. From deep in our solar system,
from some loose pocket of the Milky Way, you materialized.
Scotty must have beamed you up, my delight, my
dangerous ungraspable object. If ours is the dreaded,
half-scheduled collision of Earth and her a brain-smiting
asteroid nemesis, come hit me, X287! But you are no
faceless rock. Your smile is comet’s hair, is astral fire,
is supernova and solar flare. The energy you bring
to an embrace would raise and plant precisely
in its mortarless matrix each last brick
of the Egyptian Pyramids—this is your telekinesis, my
Marvel Girl. Oh, your eyes are gentle, your skin
blushes rosily human. But are you sure you’re
an Earthling? Take me to your leader. No:
better still, sweep me away like a Sabine woman
in that chariot of the gods that brought you here to
this very spot you claim for your moon-hidden planet.

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Is this a lesson in history, or only
a tale? How a mist passed across the full
moon that knifed every chink
to the barn’s failing loft; how the mist
lowered, gathered in front
of the man with the bullet, then lifted
to allow the shot. How they paved
a room with the knee-bones of sheep,
and when they tired of playing
jacks, they turned the knuckles into
a handful of buttons. A story
strange and fragmentary as clink of bone
against bone. And still it didn’t storm.


—Taylor Graham

The wind-horse runs on its wooden
stand on a dresser by the window,
facing out. In full stride,
he takes not a step, though in shadow-
form he moves with sunlight
through glass
passing the image of a man’s
hand cast in the gold of illusion.
The wind-horse is the only
breathing creature
in the room.

—Taylor Graham

Morning light’s not chrome but pewter—
tray with two dead oak leaves
on the doorstep. October chill. I’ve been
considering how yellow-orange
striped candies at the co-op are a land-
mark of coming celebration, sweet
as make-believe. Don’t call the misshapen
ugly; nothing’s as it seems. The mask
turns poems’ metaphor to metamorphosis;
that permeable membrane between
death and life. Just so, dawn can’t quite
sweep night-dark off the doorstep
with the leaves. They’ll come again,
the leaves, greener than ghosts, a promise
beyond endings. In a passageway,
prayer-flags in yellow, blue, and green
find this morning’s breeze
for breathing peace in and out
of season. 


Today's LittleNip:

—Evan Myquest

Thinking thinking
Thinking thinking
Thinking about how
To explain thinking
To them