Norman J. Olson
Image Poem #27
A row of automobiles
lined up in the twilight
like red speckles
on the blacktop. Imaginary
palm trees wrinkled in my
as the light from unseen candles
burned me. My eyeballs
rolled across the dusty, tessellated floor
as I sat in the food court remembering
the traffic, sipping diet soda through a
Caught in their shining carapaces
in petroleum fumes and
gridlock, the human
back into mud. Road raging palm
trees gripped the steering
wheels as swallows
in the green, uneven light.
*Previously published in Red River Review, August 2001
In The Food Court
the food court glows
skylight. bright primary colors
tear the air
to shreds as the future swoops
from store to store. the
cash register screen blinks
red and green
like some insane equation
children wonder why
we think this is fun.
high above the skylight vees of Canadian geese fly southeast
tiny robots walk around
the tessellated floor
tear their plastic hair. the
shoes of skeptics
are the bane
of these miniature machines
rodents and viruses
are their competition.
typing government reports
periscopes hang from the sky
the blind eyes
of eternity. my fingers click clacking
and my knees
are buckling with every other step.
everything I think seems incredibly stupid
the street walks
and tiny space aliens tiptoe across
the icy waves of the
north atlantic ocean. the water
in my imagination is as
chilly webs of lightning
chilly webs of lightning
spackle the sky
like cracks in the universe. imaginary
globes of fire
the rings of
and the monsters of the id
fill the imaginary void
the honeysuckle vine twines itself around a rusty trellis
bolts of lightning
webbed like cracks
entangled in the
Unsafe Sex In The Suburbs
There is no expiation. There is no
interdiction. There are only crows
roosting in the crabapple tree. The
apocalypse turns out to be a
cellular problem and the soul
is nothing but a bowl
of chemical soup.
Somebody give Bernini a Martini . . .
Neatly trimmed lawns curse
the sod that pounds
grass up into the naked air.
Grass grows best in rotting flesh but
fertilizer will do.
The raucous birds cry and that is the only
the atomic number of carbon
has to give.
God is pushing a lawnmower across the
pellucid sky. Sixteen year old girls have saddled
up the apocalyptic horses and are riding
among the pastel houses. They cannot see that the
gene pool has become an oblong swimming
pool filled with acid rain, dead
cats and chlorine.
My hands are shaking even as I type this . . .
Cathedrals of bones are floating above the
holy Ganges which is
desperately polluted. Words fall from my fingers
like shit from the asshole of the damned
I carry an elephant of awareness on my back.
Capitalist birds are gobbling sunlight
own a thermonuclear furnace and happy
crows are roosting in the
twisted blades of the crabapple
*Previously published in Cultural Logic, Volume 3, Spring 2000