Saturday, September 1, 2007

Bill Dorris

In The Syntax Of Apples And Oranges

you hope for California
and wake up with aunts
in Colorado and Texas
scrub oak

Free range years
in manila size folders
clamp-on days
at four for a quarter
birthdays and Christmas
published together
frisbee soldiers
in the Waco

Dr Pepper bottles
longhorns and Rockefellers
Nielson ratings high
cherry nights
in white satin
2 up and 2 back and
the Madison line
mashed potato time
the Statler Brothers
on ice thin wafers
low bridges
go-cart syringes
wheelchair skids
on veins
of leather

apples and oranges
grown in Texas
toll booth strangers

in the syntax
of cactus

Latin Mass

the reason for
back alleys has something
vaguely to do with candles
and pews
and the sound of wine
pigs trough
soiled gown
something to do with the times before you
father nulty
tin lids
bald as a shredded
on a cold winter
back door morning
but mostly with
the cat’s breakfast of
it all

Discrete Smoke

discrete smoke is but a screen
leaving cursor tracks
across the room
anointed in locked glass
no interface
no crickets left to bark
no tree like a redwood

they say be wary of the stones over you
of that virtual elite echoing
of the last time he sat smiling in the plaza
front row
pine box
aluminium siding

but there’s no problem here tonite
no punch codes between us
just the unforgiven
standingin glacial space

our faces lighting up the moon


If you find your name
on a small tattoo
or maybe over the shop
then spare a thought for Collis Huntington
and Leland Stanford Jr
or the next man buried in Arlington
with his own eternal flame
cos there’s no straight way to make a buck
only short cuts to the top

If Marlowe ever met Doheny
you can be sure he never asked
after all, what’s a powder burn
or two
on your son’s forehead
when history’s nothing
but the past

The Price Of Coal

His face was soft on winter slate
his voice gentle as the snow

the examiner asked where he would locate his poetry
his prose

He spoke of Carver, of Hemingway, O'Connor
of poppy fields he had known

of scenes he saw in every mirror
scenes we'd never hear

stuck in monotone

Had he ever tried the haiku
it seemed to fit his form

the haiku?

His tie hung like a border between two men
whose face had gone to stone

home, he said, is what you leave forever
only to return alone


Roswila said...

Like your work a lot. Particularly the first two. Good work, IMHO.

dsnake1 said...

enjoyed reading this. :)