CLAY IS NOT MIRACULOUS
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.
PROPOSAL TO COMMEMORATE THE NEXT WAR: THE ALL LIST
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
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
list the speechless
all who suffer
length of war
as length of life
list the corporate
cost per death
the taxes paid
name the congressmen who lost
their sons and daughters
those who gained
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
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.
That tryst's daughter
on the boulevard below
meets an oriental student,
what is it you do,
she asks absinthe-
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.
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