3 poems by Pris Campbell

Posted in Pris Campbell with tags on July 12, 2018 by Scot

Beginnings/Endings

She trips over her feet,
clumsy in this beginning
of nudges and sighs,
inept in what came
naturally in her golden days,
days of men sprawled carelessly
on her now-junked blue velvet
bed, arms reaching
to pull her down, drown
her with mind sucking kisses.

But what of this new man,
a hot, then cool faucet;
a hurricane, then a windless
day, herself the same,
walking backwards
to his forward, hoping
the blackbirds will give her
a sign, circle the red
or the green, help her
learn where hearts go to hide
when those cared for before
have passed into shadowed
valleys, littered with salt.

____________

 

Floral Rearrangements

In my Portnoy-like adolescent years,
feet too long, elbows banging
into mother’s ceramic knickknacks,
my resemblance to a towering
sunflower became obvious in my bathing suit
at weekly swim practice.

Gold rubber blossoms adorned my cap.
Stick thin body, supported by knobby knees.
Not a hint of a curve was to be found anywhere
in that damp suit, sewn, I’m certain,
by some sadist, strictly to reveal my imperfections.
No southern belle, to mother’s dismay.

I envied the short, flirty gals,
the ones with the tight cashmere
sweaters, rounded butts,
colorful bracelets from boyfriends
jangling on proud wrists.

How I longed to be like them,
held by some sexy boy in the dark southern night,
while he fumbled for my breast, breath hot on my neck,
fingers reaching for another kind of petal,
as he begged ‘do it, let’s do it’.

____________

 

Potholes

Sara stumbles across Norman’s latest book,
has stopped googling his name,
avoids poetry readings,
but there it sits on a site she rarely visits,
a pothole, waiting for her to trip over it.

She can’t catch her breath.
Her heart Is already running,
leaving her behind,
a pale, frozen ghost of a woman,
to deal with feelings she was certain
she’d boxed up in an attic somewhere.

Now she remembers the hint
of mint when he kissed her,
his clothes always folded just so
on the chair before the wilder Norman
came out to carry her up mountains
she’d never climbed with other men.

She wonders if he ever runs across
one of her paintings in a gallery
and loses his breath, too, his heart
galloping, wonders what it would
be like if he’d had the courage to stay
with her and the boy, now grown,
let go of the walls he built stone by stone
around himself, fearing that one day
the castle would collapse
and he would lie there
in the rubble, unable to deal with fists
that still had the urge to strike out,
unable to ward off memories of a childhood
that branded him too deeply to risk
what he might do to their son.

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casting shadows by scot young

Posted in Scot Young with tags on May 2, 2018 by Scot

jill may

followed the wrong dream
traded family albums for cardboard
and crack pipes
alcatraz fog
slips in steals shadows
surrounds her

turning tricks
on jones street
scoring the next fix
of crack
or smack

You know I’m gonna clean up soon
she grinned

huddled
barefoot
in doorways
wrapped in mist–ragged blankets
she slides the needle
in her neck
the best place to relieve
the cold shiver
the crack hunger
the throwing up
of dumpster food

dealers see her
talking to cops
debts unpaid
trying to clean up

yesterday
they found her
doused with gas
dead
clutching
a burnt cross

casting a shadow
on a black wall

–2007

https://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Woman-who-burned-victim-alive-convicted-of-murder-4937262.php

Outside Your Darkened Window by Bradley Mason Hamlin

Posted in Bradley Mason Hamlin with tags on May 2, 2018 by Scot

I’ve
never cared
much
for guys
that are overly
sensitive

yet
here I am
writing
a poem

men
like Bukowski
& Hemingway

felt
the same
conflict

masking
their fragile
feelings

with
the absurd
masculinity
of the sport
of animal abuse

the bizarre
bullfight
the tragically
tired horse race

ugly
excuses

that
cannot possibly
have cured
the curse

and
don’t even
let me get started
about drowning
the senses
in alcohol
and self
medication

so
let me see
the teardrop cascade
gently
from your soft
cheek

as the rain
falls rhythmically
outside your darkened
window

let me hear you
cry
just
one more time

let me
take your hand
and lie down
with you
naked
raw
fuckin’
nude, baby

let’s listen
to a Billie Holiday
record

and hold each other
until
all
the demons
in the room
gently
close
their eyes.

Thirteen Variations / Slight Returns on Dr. William’s Red Wheelbarrow (or, How the Hell Does a Japanese Fighting Kite Wind Up in The Middle of Missouri?) apologies to W.C.W. by Jason Ryberg

Posted in Jason Ryberg with tags on May 1, 2018 by Scot

 

So much depends upon
a red tricycle left crying in the rain
beside four grinning
garden gnomes.

So much depends upon
a red Radio Flyer wagon overflowing
with tulip bulbs and garden tools,
to which a bull-mastiff pup
has been chained all day.

So much depends upon
a red windmill, doing nothing
but lazily churning
the bright blue wind.

So much depends upon
a red, rusted-out pick-up truck stuck in the weeds
(bees in its belly, mice in the muffler,
a thick forest of sunflowers in its bed).

So much depends upon
an old, red barn, barely holding up its own weight
beneath the ever-shifting weight of the seasons.

So much depends upon
a red dirt road winding its way
through the hills and valleys of Oklahoma,
beneath a storm-grey sky.

So much depends upon
a pair of faded red Chuck Taylors
hanging from a power line,
(with a bird’s nest in the left).

So much depends upon
a red tail-light, barely visible on the road ahead
at five in the morning (don’t ask why)
on the way to Atchison, KS.

So much depends upon
a red-gold koi, circling
the stem-like leg of a Great Blue Heron
in the middle of a stream.

So much depends upon
the foot-tall, day-glo red liberty spikes
on top of the tiny punk rock girl
with the baby blue Doc Martins.

So much depends upon
childhood memories
of the giant, red tomatoes
your neighbor grew every summer
in soil sown with iron filings
from his machine shop.

So much depends upon
a Red Tailed Hawk floating
on a current of wind
in a sky the color of a sky blue workshirt
that’s been washed a hundred times.

So much depends upon
a red Japanese fighting kite,
wrecked and ruined in the rib-cage
of a lone Willow tree on a hill
in the middle of Missouri,

and no one, not a single soul around
to answer one simple
fucking
question …

Poem for Brittany by John Dorsey

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 1, 2018 by Scot

have seen you on the streets of new orleans
taking photos with well meaning tourists
for half finished beers on bourbon st
crossing venice blvd wearing blue socks
in a shroud of rain
chasing moloch
in a famous blue raincoat
shouting moloch
praying to moloch
that when morning comes
your shadow will recognize your smile
& that my heavy heart
full of forgotten cities
will be able
to carry the weight
of your love.
on its shoulders.

At 3 a.m.  by Sarah Russell

Posted in Sarah Russell with tags on May 1, 2018 by Scot
after one more day
without words, Paris
takes you in like a whore,
not surprised you’re back
for another fuck in the dark.
November.  Brittle rain
scrapes the bone.
You walk the sheen of cobbles
to the Seine, where bodies,
freshly guillotined, once floated,
heads left behind in baskets,
past the great cathedral, gargoyled,
buttressed, to the boîte
on St. Louis where absinthe
and jazz make love, and a girl
comes to rub against you
like she knows your name.

nada mas maybe something more by SPLAKE

Posted in Splake with tags on May 1, 2018 by Scot

 

death often comes fast
life ending quickly
collapsing on treadmill
running to eagle river
body pitching in tall grass
rocky wilderness path
climbing in the clifffs
face down
kitchen table ending
unfinished poem
left in mid-sentence
final act without
meaning or conclusion
poet’s reputation
rapidly disappearing
collection of writings
gathering dust
in university archives
remote possibility
zoschke’s literary remarks
“city lights” bibliography
will make others note
another henry darger
writings and paintings
finally recognized
after quiet driven life
sad artistic despair
after years of working alone
starving artist solitude
everything suddenly lost
creative works forgotten
but something might exist
between reality and nothing
in different dimension
poet discovering
richard brautigan real
living with pauline
gentle life together
piney woods wilderness
working on new book
writing in little shack
north of ideath
learning much wisdom
from grand old trout
living upstream
near statue of mirrors
enjoing black watermelon days
delicious soundless feasts
often exploring forgotten works
finding special things
apple pie coffee breakfasts
sweet bluebell flowers
warmly embracing pauline
trout hatchery dances
watermelon sugar happiness