Lip-Syncing One Scene From The Shipwreck
 
Last week I rode a bicycle up the Eiffel Tower and back
again. This week the scenario calls for me to have a
pet project of designing custom-made diapers for
a herd of elephant. During my lunch breaks I'm
suppose to ride a guided missile using only
a pair of leather reins and after I finish
dinner each evening I'm obligated
to walk over hot coals in just
my shocking feet. The
porch light will
come on so I can read
in bed and the script calls for
me to wax the toilet seat just in
case surf's up. By mid-week I can listen
to Loretta Lynn coming out of my beer can and
then suck every drop of codeine out of the shipwreck.
Once I dust the hammer at every peep hole I have
to sprinkle blood around the lionās den. Borne
deaf with a huge kill-on. Most importantly,
I'm suppose to allow my dreams the
chance to feed on me like a school
of small fish feeds on a sinking
stone. That part is easy. The
hard part is organizing
every on of my
straight-jackets according to the sounds they make.
 
 



Unsuitable Resemblances, Entirely Coincidental
 
Next, I make a list denouncing each item to the thought police:
 
-Twenty bushels of fake Georgia peaches.
 
-Morning sunlight glinting off the wrong window pane.
 
-Crows feet that insist on revealing my age.
 
-An herbarium lined in beaver fur.
 
-Clandestine basketballs disguised as eggplants.
 
-The Iberian peninsula stuffed in a car trunk.
 
-Chestnuts seen secretly meeting with squirrels.
 
-Hibiscus caught smoking in bed.
 
-Breadfruit guilty of anonymous sex.
 
-The entire year of '68 existing a peep show.
 
 



& Sometimes Even A Sparrow Hawk
 
Let's assume the sun is born at 6 a.m.
 
It arrives with a head full of hair & all 10 fingers.
 
Only its spots can speak.
 
At first, it mimics us.
 
It orders its own hash browns but never takes a bite.
 
Radiating light & intertwined with billions of nerves.
 
Even so·
 
thirst is the song no one coos in an
impossible handcraft of water white
raft idling in a live crew-cut of
eloquent logic
 
 



A Seedbed Of Ideas, Unflinchingly Original
 
Friday night arrives without a suitcase and is handwritten
in ink. It tries its best to drink eight glasses of water a day
 
and never use its credit card. The suitcase is empty. There's
a dent near the handle. In this scenario streetlights come
 
on manually. There are sidewalks after sidewalks after sidewalks
with cracks in every one. But Friday doesn't mind.
 
It has a stack of girlie magazines under its bed at home and
a big jar of Vasoline on the nightstand. It never learned how
 
to swim but it still use to watched Voyage To the Bottom Of The Sea
 
on TV weekly. It once gave a elegy for the 1960ās and
 
thinks all shepherds have a playful wit reminiscent of Frank
O'Hara. Nothing is left unsucked in its world. It likes lips and
 
any word that begins with a B. It thinks war should be a side order
on the menu and that any honest-to-goodness Santa
 
Claus is shaped like a seedless orange. It can't tell a Wednesday
from a Thursday but it has come a long ways in
 
figuring out the intricate principle of breathing out more than
it takes in.
 



 
Not To Mention The Trees

 
She says a moonless night is one that looks inward.
 
Weāre in the trunk of a tree playing doctor and nurse. I have
oysterman fingers and she has ocean water in her coffee cup
every time it rains. 'I often feel that my fruit seed grows up
to be a skyscraper', she says, over the noise of a chainsaw in
the distance. Not one bird sings with its feathers. Nowadays,
all the owls wear contact lens. 'Do you think trees can tell
approaching weather just by looking up at the sky', she goes
on to say, as we wonder which exotic plant found in the thick
underbrush might be an aphrodisiac. 'Does a cello mind being
made of wood if it means making cherries orphans', I ask back,
sure that the forest is brindled with creeks and a few dirt roads.
 
And the color of brown bark is broken by gray rocks. And the
blueprint to the surrounding grass is universal. And at times, the wind causes the leaves to ring like a telephone.


         © Maurice Oliver 2007