Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not all polemen are firemen

Steve Retchless swirled
like Rocket J. Squirrel,
while Piers Morgan hurled
from a homophobic world.

Sharon was cool.
Howie, so high school,
could not break the rule:
Don't dude-look and drool.

His body was curled
as he whirled and twirled
in a polarized world —
like Rocket J. Squirrel.

Steven Retchless, Semi-Finals ~ America's Got Talent 2011:
(Piers Morgan: "There are lots of men in Vegas sliding down poles; they're called firemen, and that's where it should stay. ... It's not what guys should do.")

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We skipped the light

We skipped the light.
Fandango turned cartwheels. Meanwhile,
we skipped the light
and turned a paler shade of white.
The ceiling blew away a mile.
We hummed, and with a drunken smile,
we skipped the light.

a rondelet imagined and rearranged from the lyrics to "A Whiter Shade of Pale" (which have always fascinated me), and placed in the imaginary garden with real toads

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Third Eye


A freak-out chill would cover me like ice.
The diner cook took off his paper hat.
He turned and winked at me, not once but twice —
a third eye kept upon me where I sat.

"What do you do with that third eye, oh sir?
What can you see that humans cannot see?"
"For you, mere human, life is but a blur.
You think too much what is, not what could be.

You look around and see what you deplore.
What you could do if you could see that all
your species has is just itself, no more."
"What lets a diner cook to make this call,

and why pick me to show your E.T. face?"
"Was on my way back to my native star.
I saw your orb and so I fell from space
beside this road-side diner fountain bar.

I thought I'd spend a while to get a fix
on Earthly ways. I saw the sign, Wanted -
a diner cook to work from 10 to 6
To roam the galaxy and to imbed

is what I do, and tell my race what I
have learned. In others' lives, we don't involve
ourselves. I'm just content to be a spy.
But just for once, I need some help to solve

why your own race cannot break free of your
own pointless prisons made up for no good."
Without the third eye then I was demure
to answer him, but would have if I could.

I left the diner with a bit of blues
to think that humans cling to stupid creeds.
If only we could see like that space muse.
Imagining that third eye's what we need.

placed in the dVerse ~ Poets Pub: Poetics – Third Eye Open
and in the Poets United Poetry Pantry #64
(photo is of actor Barney Phillips in The Twilight Zone episode
 "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?")

Friday, August 26, 2011

My past is left behind in old film stock

I leave to the various futures (not to all) my garden of forking paths.
  - Ts’ui Pên, "The Garden of Forking Paths" by Jorge Luis Borges

My past is left behind in old film stock
whose frames were worn and scratched — the reels were thrown
away to decompose. The instant now
is all that I possess, as quantum paths
are summed and futures hold my next rote lines.
With Schrödinger's lab cat asleep, I split
into all possibilities. But when
I dare to look — I know not when — I think,
Would it be me or other-me that writes
the next blank verse that futures will record?

placed in the imaginary garden with real toads, for a Jorge Luis Borges birthday prompt

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

So-net etiquette sonnet

You only have to make an avatar
of you: your iconography to show
within your network time slots when you star
on so-cial-nets, whichever one you you sow.

Your top-bill name, cannot be made-up though
(unless you're famous like celebrities):
The so-net management may de-bill "Doe"
of "John" or "Jane"—your real name if you please.

Now finding audience is not a breeze—
make Circles right for you. And be polite
with your comments and hit the right + keys.
With these in mind your future looks quite bright,

and soon your star will rise with every byte
you send to where nobody has stage fright.

placed in imaginary garden with real toads

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mole in a hole

Holed up in his hole
a mole is far from the fold
unfolding his goal

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The sounds of silence

The sound of puffs of dandelion seeds.
The sound that follows Shush, all people please!
The sound of space between the far-flung stars.
The sound of empty kitchen cookie jars.

The sound a cat makes stalking barnyard mice.
The sound of mammoths buried in the ice.
The sound amoebas make when eating death.
The sound before you take another breath.

The sound of strings in Hawking's Grand Design.
The sound of mourners at a hero's shrine.
The sound between two lovers as they age.
The sound of poverty's deep-hidden rage.

The sounds of silence play the silent roles
as nature's docudrama tale unfolds.

prompted by a Sylvia Plath verse on "silence"
and placed in imaginary garden with real toads

Friday, August 19, 2011

A pretzel in the park

Steven Retchless, pole fitness champion*

Four nimble limbs of gold go bold-
ly round a naked pole,
defy earth's gravity's own hold,
delight a hungry soul.

To be that pole that twist of fate
would grab and hold to me.

Enticing daydreams that creates
beneath the hardwood tree.

A winding pretzel on a stick,
sprinkled with salty sweat:
a sexy topologic pick,
the treat I won't forget.

* Steven Retchless is a contestant on America's Got Talent
placed in the Poets United Poetry Pantry #63
and sneaked into dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night Week 6

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Good thing my first name is longer than two letters

To a Poets United prompt for a poem based on the third letter of your first name, this poem reprised from 2009:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I think only when space aliens threaten us

I think only when space aliens threaten us
will there be
sleek bullet trains and green-grid volts,
science-trained brains and high-speed nets,
great public spaces of pleasure and arts,
a people-first sense of a future day.

We need space aliens to threaten US
to do what we could have done anyway
—without all the stifling, moronic fuss.

Note: more alien invasion stuff in the news
placed in Poets United Poetry Pantry #63

Monday, August 15, 2011

'80s Hippie Hollow Splash Days

The Hippie Hollow boys on rocks
fill Speedos full of fun,
and passing boats of muscle jocks
are ripening in the sun.

With Duran Duran in the air,
at men on winding trails,
the boys of Hippie Hollow glare
while rating on a scale.

From boats the showy boys give show,
the divers go headfirst.
Meanwhile, into the woods some go —
Who knows what was conversed?

Above the Hollow boats and rocks
the boys are busy bees,
and woods at dusk are filled with cocks
that milky way the trees.

placed in imaginary garden with real toads

Sunday, August 14, 2011


electrostatic grains of black-
stained globules rising in the creme

more intimately dance for me
than all the printed words I've seen

no garish backlight strains the eye —
you liven pages in the bright —
and lightly you are held by me
with all the books that I have liked

placed in Poets United Poetry Pantry #62

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Theory Of Everything

Supersymmetry's breaking thread:
Philosophy is dead.
Astrophysics instead.
Cosmologists joyed.
Evangelists annoyed.
Truth is dialectic.
I sing the boson electric.
M-theory: 'M' is for Mother
Ekes out another
Space-time brother.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Feebly, we leave our Terran home

Feebly, we leave our Terran home
controlled by space-time's laws
in fragile boats that buck the waves
of nature's callous cause.

Small islands that are close to home
are far as we can see
to go — for now we are but slaves
of Relativity.

The day may come when we need roam
beyond our nearby shores,
when Earth becomes but our own graves
and nature shuts the doors.

to a prompt "man’s eternal fight for survival against the forces of nature" in imaginary garden with real toads

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Signs of Teabageddon

"Regret being in the 21st century."
"Build no bullet trains or great public places."
"Old times there: misrepresent them."
"Milk the people for moneyed kings."
"Be hostages of men in colonial drag."
"Secession redux: Remember confederacy."
"Dream the past. Kill the future. Cure the gay."
"Shrink Government down to the size of Barack Obama's balls."
"Ignore the poor for Jesus' sake."

see A Tea Party Caucus Fracas (The D.C. Douglas Blog)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Of bees

When I am near but two or three
then I can separate the buzz,
but when a swarm surrounds by me
the conversation turns to fuzz.

Side note: The bee made an appearance in several Emily Dickinson poems.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Prayer and fasting at Reliant Stadium

Where Texans huddle in the fall
and hordes of beer fanatics jam,
a tide of muddled masses call
for prayer and fasting in the land.

The speakers, evangelicals
who see The Devil's stranglehold
on everything unbiblical,
drone on and on upon the fold.

The prayers soon bore instead of soothe,
so song and dancing fills the ring.
And fasting fills the hot dog booths:
Please make me one with everything.

Outside, the reprobated sects,
the seculars, and gays are there.
And Westboro Baptist protests:
The US doesn't have a prayer.

The prayerful then have had enough,
and Governor with quite Good Hair,
who led the rally's God Pride stuff,
himself, is on to better fare. Rick Perry's call to prayer draws crowd of 30000 Fasting at Prayer Event Ends at Hot Dog Stand for Many
Note: Reliant Stadium is the home of the NFL's Houston Texans. AFA (American Family Association), the sponsor of the rally, was designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010.
(click on image for photos of the event)

placed in Poets United Poetry Pantry #61 and imaginary garden with real toads

Friday, August 5, 2011

At the farmers' market,

perhaps it was the gourds
that led me to thinking of Leonardo DiCaprio
picking Brad Pitt out of the apricots,
Matt Damon appearing as apples
on teachers' desks, and James Franco
holding bananas ripe for eating
as Tobey Maguire shooed the bugs away
from Johnny Depp's grapes,
Neil Patrick Harris at checkout,
and Chris Evans by the American flag.

placed in Poets United Thursday Think Tank #60: Market Days

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bed pillows

Cotton puffs,
gathering like cumulus clouds in summer,
surround my head in dreams.

to a prompt "A Play on Words" from imaginary garden and real toads

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Digital hipsters,
tooling the next
storm overhead,
getting plus-ed.

Once verbose texts,
now short and tweet,
mixing with tosh.0
vids getting tweaked.

From Rush Limbaugh fans
to Maureen Dowd's:
circles of freaks
dancing for clouds.

Clouds are summoned,
Long-ago clouds were
passively mused.