Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Poems to Share

Carnegie Center friend, accomplished poet, former intern and upcoming CCLL instructor, Robert Campbell has agreed to share some of his work. Enjoy!

One wants to become a headlight
in the desert of impalpable dark.
What becomes of the neophyte,
flesh against flesh? They said to park

in the desert of impalpable dark,
the body a thing that fits cleanly between
flesh, against flesh. They said to park
there, on the left. They want to entwine

the body, a thing that fits cleanly in between.
One wants to glow behind the orange tape,
there, on the left. One wants to entwine
knower and known from lots six and eight.

One wants to glow behind the orange tape.
Meanwhile, they want you sexless as concrete,
nowhere, a no one from lots six and eight,
light licking shadow, yellow lines laid neat.

Skillet, Oil, Meat
My father’s mother, with those hands
that, at thirteen, hauled wood,
killed pigs, washed linens, paling
from the bleach, would set herself
to tilt skillets full of oil,
a circle of perfect dark
wider than a growing bulb,
smaller than the mouth’s hole.

She pruned hibiscus leaves
in her jet-black bathing suit,
sported the wig not for lack of hair,
but because, at the end of the day,
she could lay back, lift
the cumbersome load of curls
onto the manikin head staring back
from her vanity and sleep lighter,
tresses breathing in, out with
the bedroom window’s draft.

She stretched a bronzed arm
over the cement pots, tilted
the pitcher, watched water
tremble off the top,
then, to nourish the animate, pulled
chicken gizzards for the frying pan.

Hot oil rattles meat
almost as hard as grief.
The sizzle is not unlike
the dissolving body, bones
caved in under the weight of spirit,
smoke from burnt flesh, stygian hiss,
opaque when cooled, useful
for cornbread, pies, beans.

Song of White Noise
The hive is gone now;
the vacuum pounds complaint
at corners of a room.

I needed something to possess;
you needed possessions, but more,
someone calm to hold your hand

down the fluorescent aisles,
constructed other, flesh
of your flesh, voice of your device.

Now my voice will rise to you
from behind every automation.
Scan item. Validate pass. Hand me

your extracted cerebrum.

Look how I’ve grown exactly where
your old house used to be.

I’ll teach you how to count
your fingers into finger-bones,
a Sybil with mouths

all over, behind glass, wave-like,
my leaves encoded like a pollen
batting at your atmosphere.

Remember that tomorrow is the last day of National Poetry Month! Happy writing! Thank you again to Robert for sharing with us!


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