Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Reb Livingston


Luna Park


When nothing better bubbled your kiln
you looked for entrance.
Why not? It was safe for you, the
lions only ate women.
You saw castle and carousel
never shades and shadows. She
fastened her belt, endured the scenic
railway until everything throbbed
riot, licked cotton candy while you
twirled the cardboard cone. You said
Shoot the Chute, she said
Temple of Mystery, you
jumped the turnstile
yelling after the trolley.
Desires vanish once you
leave, it’s always different on return.
Rain checks bring ash, perhaps a fond
brief flash, moonstruck girl
breast stroke, mighty Monongahela.

*first published in The Carolina Quarterly (2006)


Off Vermont

Wasn’t a leaf that didn’t
Smack her face on the way out as she
Sped across the green humps
There were road signs, sharp turns,
Interstates, omissions and a legacy of mock repose
All clearly marked so even girls could understand
This one kept her gaze on the pretty man’s chin, felt
Sing-song wisps streaming through her hair
Down her spine, gripping her hips
Bird songs or flashbacks, is there such a translation?
Do lovers ever love? Of course not, too obvious
Better luck next time, oh wait, there is no next time,
next in line, move along
Oh, don’t worry, I’m going
Didn’t stop for syrup, wheels spat out
Wry pine cones, provocation, there it was,
Lay down and be flattened, thank you, that was nice
Crossing that turf was breech without epidural
Without child after ordeal
New York or Massachusetts, the only options, she
Deserved nothing more; two more locations to
Pretend, for just a while, she’s not tone deaf
Small thoughts produce tiny tears and hers were
Specks and plenty and would not wipe

*first published in Mem (issue #3, 2006)


Pine Box

Maybe I’m impressed by church light.
Split pews didn’t part the Red sea
--neither did diagonal stripes or rubbing shoulders.
When I say “impressed” I’m not talking penis, so
put it back in your pocket, those slithering slacks that
make me wonder if you’ve started working out.
This is about art, being over it and being good.
That’s what I came for. I’m so over it.
See God. See Moon. See Conifer. Over.
--But all this stained glass, the bright shades pined against
night
sure, come hither, the man in the tower
just stepped out for juice and right now I
sense a potent sparkle from your beacon.
I’m talking literal, I truly believe you’re a ship
full of tiny wisps waving shiny lighters
screaming “Encore.”Cruise liner, tug boat, sinking barge of coal,
what do I know?
Hurry, before I require downfall.
Careful, those rocks are sharp!

*first published in Soft blow (2005)


The Love Story

Here’s the love
story minus the
story.
A
poor woman, in
poor health with poor taste.
She shells the
vegetables into stereotypes in her long
vegetable garden.
Poverty was
funny and he has a wonderful sense of
humor.
Pancakes are
pancakes and his code for the
obscene which is a
shame because she still likes
breakfast.
The sky parades its
fucking
sunrise all the way to
sunset.
A
sign of the
sighs,
she ends.

*first appeared in The Displayer (2005)


No Bra Required

Someone scrawled funny
words on our underwear.
Our underwear, way
too loose on our
rascal asses.
We must realize
ourselves into those
big britches, you declare.
Love in a hand basket.
Hell in my heart.
My camisole, yours, evermore.
Never have I believed in polygamy more than I do
rising this daybreak.

*reprinted from The Bedside Guide To No Tell Motel (No Tell Books, 2006)

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