Archive for the Rob Plath Category

Rob Plath Poetry

Posted in Rob Plath with tags on January 17, 2022 by Scot

 

they exist

 

i read jack
& the beanstalk
as a boy
& believed maybe
giants existed
then later realized
there were only ogres
in the shape of fathers
schoolyard bullies, etc
but then i got older
& realized that
there really were giants
great big benevolent ones
of regular size once
but who left us way too young
by barrel of needle or gun
or bottle or blade, etc…
but left nonetheless
in body but not soul
& they grew & grew
& now sit & walk next to us
grand ghosts so large
they leave no room for absence
there’s one right here
as i write this
you might know him
i’m sure you do

——————

 

my mother was a poet too come to think of it

i remember some gray mornings
after unwon battles
w/ nothing much to eat
my mother taking leftover
mashed potatoes
the only two eggs in the carton
& some flour
& a little piece of cheese
hidden in plastic wrap
& mixing it all
in her old green bowl
& then pressing it all into discs
w/ her tiny palms
& laying them in sizzling butter
just enough scraped from wax paper
w/ the knife
to melt & fill the bottom
of our third-hand dented pan
w/ the loose handle
until scraps transformed
into golden pancakes
for otherwise gray souls…
& now come to think of it
my mother was a poet too
taking up meaningless mush
what little remains
w/ caring hands
& making something new
something better
something bright
to usher us thru thick fog

————————

 

not even a shadow of a shadow left

 

one day the seas will boil
& the thing you worshipped
will turn into a red giant
& swallow the earth
fire eating all
even the bone-filled center
of the foolish tootsie pop planet
so i roll over in orange covers
ignoring flashing marquees
of terrible reports
& everything else that will not last
especially motherfucking love

——————

 

blue diamond

 

i remember when i was 4
my grandmother moved in
she was dying
she’d be dead in less than a year
at that time i wanted a kite
but nobody bought me one
so my grandmother suggested
that i make one
so w/ her overseeing it all
i made this folded diamond
out of white drawing paper
coloring it blue w/ a crayon
then i poked a hole
in one of the tips w/ a pencil
threading a piece of twine thru it
& tied a knot
i remember my grandmother
standing at the back window
her arms crossed
in her favorite royal sweater
w/ the big brown buttons
watching me try to fly
this blue paper kite
i ran to one end of the house
where she’d sneak
to smoke cigarettes
even after chemotherapy
& then i ran to opposite side
but the kite just sank
a blue diamond in the dirt
& each time i was about to quit
i saw her grin thru the glass
her thin purple hand waving
me on & on
while her other hand
pushed back loose wild hair

Rob Plath

Posted in Rob Plath with tags on September 20, 2021 by Scot

 

watching a slasher flick w/ my cat

my cat’s watching a slasher flick w/ me
she’s stretched out full length
white mittens pointed at the screen
as an ax gets planted in a man’s skull
& the blood pours
& a woman unleashes a shrill scream
& i wince a little
while my cat just chills there
humming a deep, ancient cat tune
her tiny rib cage gently rising & falling
thru killing after killing
scream after bloody scream
& in this moment i realize
she’s the antithesis of horror flicks
she’s the epitome of peace
& if later i’m visited by a nightmare
i’ll have my furry little dreamcatcher
sweetly stretched out by my side

 

the world thru dead rose-colored glasses

not being in love
i see the moon better
& the cats better
& the stars better
& the flowers better
& the steam curling
from the tea better, etc…
& i even see the soft side
of my demons
& how they weep sometimes
w/ their heads bowed
& their horns resting
in their terrible claws

the cool whip poets by Rob Plath

Posted in Rob Plath with tags on November 15, 2019 by Scot

 

his poems
of optimism
ring false
for me

if i read
his poems
to my
demons

it’d be like
spoon feeding
the bastards
french vanilla
cool whip

& as the fangs
of my monsters sank
into my hand bones

even my angels
would roll
their eyes
& feign vomiting

Four poems by Rob plath

Posted in Rob Plath with tags on August 19, 2019 by Scot

incoming nails

when i was a boy
for a year
my room was
an unfinished attic
from up there
the bloody fights
below were muffled
but still i lay
for hours
on that old narrow
fold-up cot
w/ broken springs
gazing up
between rafters
at incoming nails
& praying to dream
of something soft
___________________

 

one for the lost

the critics will
never take
this knife away

this blade w/ which
i carve
these things

some call them poems
i’m not sure
what they are

& it doesn’t matter
the label
b/c they seem
to save some
of those who are lost
or foaming at the mouth
or so alone
they get vertigo
etc…

the critics
will never take
this blade
from my hands
never get me
to quit carving

b/c for all
their sloppiness
for all their
lack of technique
these poems seem
to save a little

& that’s enough for
my hand to never
let go of this knife

___________________________

over the walls

the nature paintings
my mother hung over
all the fist holes
was too simple a fix
i preferred sneaking
out of my window
& running thru woods
a happy vagabond
blending into shadows
of maples & in love
w/ the rings of oaks
_______________________

grave hands

i want to sink
both hands
into the wet
cement
of my future
tombstone
before it sets
& hardens
like those
dish shaped
plaster casts
we made
in kindergarten
for our mother
no name
no date
no epitaph
just palms
w/ cigarette
burns

Three Poems by Rob Plath

Posted in Rob Plath on May 13, 2019 by Scot

cats & cigarettes

 

i read that camus
had a black cat
named cigarette
tonight i picture
the aloof pair
sitting together
a big yawn
opening up around
his companion’s fangs
as albert’s smoke
curls past his eye
like the silent tongue
of nothingness

____________

 

slabs 
i
am
a
portable
morgue
seldom
do
i
move
down
the
avenues
of
the
living
w/ out
slabs
of
blue
corpses
in
my
heart
____________
along the avenues of broken lamplights 
in this neighborhood
garbage drums are dragged
to the curb before dawn
sharpens yards of leaning fences
& pale stubble of lawns
the headlights of old cars
warming on narrow driveways
the only light cutting the darkness
& the empty pails roll around
unattended all day on pavement
cracked as the tired hands
of those who return to collect
them well after dusk

Three poems by Rob Plath

Posted in Rob Plath with tags on January 10, 2018 by Scot

tracing 8s

i was five
when my
grandmother
died
& i remember
i’d wake up
at 2 or 3 am
to find
my mother
passed out
next to me
in my tiny bed
on nights
my father
was gone
i was scared b/c
she seemed
dead herself
it was like i was
trapped in
a coffin w/ her
& i’d shake
her awake
sighing
as one eye
finally opened
& years later
i was alone
in the hospital
room w/ her
on a bright
june day
when she died
& i shook her
by the knee
& waved my hand
in front
of her face
one eye bandaged
& the other
frozen wide open
in the sunlight
& later that night
i remembered
when i was ten
she’d read about
exercises
in a magazine
to help improve
yr vision
i remembered
the one
where you close
yr lids
& draw a
figure 8
w/ yr eyes
first clockwise
then counter-clockwise
& i tried doing it
as i lay
awake in the dark
sets of 7
as night came
on deeper

____________

 

chasms & poets

some scale
the north face
of Everest
while others claw
out of the deep pit
of each morning
& afterwards if
they’re lucky
bloodied blackened
arcs of fingernails
will dip over
the tiers of keys
of the poetry machine

____________

 

edge

between all the bridges
that i ever burned
&
that one dark bridge
calling out
to me

i
sit
&
fucking
wait

ROB PLATH

Posted in Rob Plath on January 6, 2013 by Scot

either death nor liferob plath

people always
complain
to
me
about
writer’s block

& i don’t understand
this phenomenon

a while back
a good friend gave me this
old typewriter

which i don’t actually write on
but one night when i was drunk
i put a skull
that i use as a paperweight
on top of it

resting where
the blank page would be
the empty sockets
stared back at me
the jaw hovering
over the tiers of keys

maybe they wouldn’t be
stumped for poems
if this skinless head
greeted them
before
they
wrote

but no, they neither
see death
nor
life
_________

well maybe not so good

i can
feel
it
shifting

if
i
really
quiet
myself

this hour
week
month
year

these people
these places

shifting
slower
than
smoke
dissolving
in
a
room
on
a
sunday
morning

this
marvelous
gravy
of
the
present

turning
into
the
proverbial
“good
old
days”
___________

in between atrophy and a pine box there are cages

i don’t know
what’s worse:

the medical field
feeding off
people’s fear
of dying
or
the funeral
business
taking advantage
of people’s
loss

or

in
between
staving off
shitting
our pants
& shelling out
for our own
box-in-a-hole

the
powers
that fucking be
making
us
all
pay
dearly
to
stay
out
of
those
human
fucking
cages