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Four Poems
Poetry by John Horvath Jr

Did I request my Maker form me from
maternal dark which gave birth to light?
What life is this His breaths bestow
upon mere mechanics and my opposites
that I might be one with Him? With whom?
With mother whose biped path led astray
from fresh seeded Paradise, to grovel
painfully upon all her four, ass turned
toward the hearth of that bright newly
fired sun - such passions in His order?
If I begin the son of son and daughter
then with whom should I be wed? Another
pollutes the cherished breed. Consider
union with that exile exiled out of Nod
with monkey wife, or stranger woman yet?
The salted sort who would not abandon
what was clearly passed, preserver of
impugned iniquities? Why wed memories?
None requests His gift of life unless
some ask it uselessly at curse's end.
I rather think we all began discerning
mistakes formed from that He cast aside
and unintended grew amid such slime
as congregates, disjoins, then time
to time will reinitiate to make one One.
That seems better than formed from Not.
That unlike chemicals from mud and clay
should make cognate creatures that may
disobey Creation's Core seems an Ought
To Be that clarifies desires to be
       a part and, likewise, be apart.
If my sons must die jungled or unjungled no flat black block of named anonymous no longer among us where we may grieve our public grief Memorate rather who voted for death as cost effective so we can curse their names and promise them our vengeance or if by choice jungled or unjungled god forbid list who taught them what they died for list who returned silent of their time among the dead list who would not go who was exempt who went loud who returned in part list the speechless all who suffer length of war as length of life list the corporate profit margins cost per death the taxes paid name the congressmen who lost their sons and daughters those who gained mention every tear some telegram engendered up against the wall we put their faces up against the wall we'll let them cry those who remember should be remembered remember them remembering
CANADIAN EYE Wild ducks rise on autumn nimbus, wrapped in the soft vee of their kind while hunters wait along cold routes where small spots of dog wait to teethe on hollow-boned trapped ducks. The duck is a great winged metal from the sea and the dogs are children waiting in sandholes covered with debris; their fathers aim upward. There is a moment when the fire falling breaks on the ground where the children run with their faces contorted, smiling through clenched teeth, hair aflame, soft bowels unspun. Moment forever. (Trigger of my first Daisy wore thin. Such a treasure! Oiled and rubbed its parts with love. Clean weapon burned like fireworks in my summering mind.) Spin, new blood, caught in bright flame. This, this is your time to play prey. BOULEVARD de CLICHY in PARIS Everyone has a starting point. The tour begins. Older man with wired muscles speckled with liver spots, enamel dentures, cane, and backside aches too often, seeks the good side of his nature, love against solitude, an organ of adventure, flesh that's warm to wrap around his sinew. Widowed Lady almost wane as wind shivers at her window, windowsill Wet with tears from mornings with her darlings, evenings lonely as a grave. Someone's teeth on the headboard, unclipped toes to scrape against her nightly rest, a wheeze to hear, to know she is alive. Neither to the other will respondez: silence earned turns treasure. On the sixth floor looking outward down the white snow boulevard toward the bowlered gents and bustled ladies, youth in their eyes embraces winter's world. That is the ceiling above them, like a coffin cover, that young noise bumps and bounces against. You would think, would you not, they too must find rest. ii That tryst's daughter on the boulevard below meets an oriental student, what is it you do, she asks absinthe- mindedly? For my people, now oppressed, I Declare your Constitution. That's very nice, my dear, she condescends. He takes up reading Marx.

Copyright © John Horvath Jr 2002

Hungarian-American born in Chicago, educated in the American South (PhD), John Horvath Jr has been a steel mill mechanic, soldier, street poet, cab driver, professor of literature and criticism. He edits PoetryRepairShop – Contemporary International Poetry (since 1997) and writes. Recent Poetry includes Illiana Region Poems: Harboring the Enemy published by Zebooks and CONUS: the First Tour Chapbook, new and collected poetry of war. Find out more about John Horvath Jr.

These poems may not be archived or distributed further without the author’s express permission. Please read the license.

This electronic version of Four Poems is published by The Richmond Review by arrangement with the author. For rights information, contact The Richmond Review in the first instance


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