Your cradle cap flakes
Downward drift as God’s dandruff ~
First snow of the year
Impression of universe
Illumined by Read More
Your cradle cap flakes
It’s coronation day!
It was my usual walk from work,
in suit and tie, tired from the day.
I approached the ballpark. They came
toward me, laughing—a gang of about five
energized, jeering, laughing young men—
still dressed in their baseball stripes, bats and gloves
in hand, smiles still wide from an obvious win.
As they rushed past, an arm glanced mine and
I heard the words, “Hermoso papi chulo!”
From what little Spanish I knew,
it was a compliment.
(But one is never sure).
And thus crowned, I turned to them,
smiled, embarrassed, red.
They spoke other words in Spanish I could
not catch, and the young man then said,
“Mister, do you understand?”
I nodded. I wanted to say something back,
but I didn’t know, or have, the words with
which to crown them in return.
Copyright 2017 Philip F. Clark. FromThe Carnival of Affection(Sibling Rivalry Press). Included…
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“To imagine how the use of our resources depletes someone else’s — unless we develop that capacity personally and nationally, we all die. We must see connections or die. Justice is the ability to see connections and live by them.”
— James Carroll, A Terrible Beauty
The world is my prophet
turning my face to fix my gaze
upon the diaspora of my own cells
the promises that dissolve upon leaving the tongue
the prayers that never left
and the self-intoxication from their potency
and the starved faces for whom they were supposed to have medicated Read More
Third-world wrinkles weigh down eyelids as she bows her head and lifts up her palms for alms for one more red-sky dawn, a most colorful sari to don. “Sorry,” says a face as he shrugs off all sorrows and solutions, the faces of great men will remain safe in his billfold until the automated face at the bank intones, Read More
Today will soon be the rose-colored past when the worst they did was make art of rape with stolen paint and palette knives, wet with red as bitten tongues. It was easy to execrate the oppressor when
it was someone other than Read More
Din of grungy mahjong slot machines, smoke thick as port-town smog, slurps of Chongqing hot noodle soup
Watery lager, grease stains, and spit riddled the cement floor,
For the right price she could decipher them too —
“Too many eyes on you and this,”
Boss held up her Read More
balancing and vanishing acts face the
cotton candy-striped grandstand
trump on tramp
bouncy balls Read More
God’s promise/natural terror — two sides of the same shifting pennies.
robably the girl’s greatest sin of her youth was her abandonment of imagination in favour of reason; before that betrayal (of herself) she could observe a person the way you would step back from a statue you had just made, fall in crush with it, and kiss it in her daydreams; after that she could see the pure stone, the straight, brown track, the division between rain and sunshine that could refract and make a double bow that a Bible would call God’s promise and she would call a natural terror – the same as leaves of frost on a window pane or the lower of a nimbus; her night-dreams, however, continued to be about flying and about a maze of rooms in a lit house she should know, and she came down from them into a world where you could – and this amazed her, almost took back the…
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Upset stomach while moonlight and fever fell
Vomit on bedsheets damp already with
Weepy breast and echoes of old
Xylophone notes dripping from mildewed wainscoting Read More
Bridal veil beside
Bed-raggled spread of spilt stars
And other launched hopes
Til’ the moon draws back the sky:
Satellite script of unborn names Read More