Friday, January 22, 2016

Raymond Keen- Three Poems

Gesundheit   (Originally published in my book, Love Poems for Cannibals – February 2013)

Sex means death
To me because
It proves that
I am an animal,
A dying animal.

Pete Rose said,
“A man wants to smell like a man!”
San Francisco rates 3rd in gonorrhea,
2nd in no-neck therapists
With techniques for bringing down the Divine.

Haven’t they arrested you before?
Did they advise you of your rights
With a map of their kingdom?
Did they provide you perfect studies
Of the perfect, watered-down?
Or are you also just another dying animal?
Welcome home.

Going to Hell   (Originally published in The American Poetry Review – July/August 2005 Issue)

Traveling through the frozen mud
Between cigarettes,
Teeth and bones
Suspended in the ice,
We wash the fish
When the Devil comes.
There is no singing.
There is no dancing.
It’s dark in the machine.
His name is my name too.

Returning on our bloody knees
Every Monday.
Hamburger for lunch, wiping our mouths
With paper napkins.
Or the mantis,
Eating the head
Of her mate
During intercourse.
See the pictures for yourself.
Killing is bad luck
Without an audience.

Paul’s gone.
Do you remember Joe Palooka?
With death at the end,
There is no singing.
There is no dancing.
Should we clap in love class?
We’ll talk about that tomorrow.
Wash the fish
When the Devil comes.
Bumping heads in the night wagon,
His name is your name too.

Why not kill one another?
Or the God of the Philosophers
Singing in German, “Schlafen Sie gut.”
When hope is gone
So goes the air we breathe.
I dreamed of Hiroshima.
I dreamed of Dresden.
I dreamed of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
I dreamed of My Lai.
Is that Art Linkletter?
Is it time to wake up
In this system of hate?
Swallow the bee
Before it stings your tongue.
No sign of Christ.
(Exeunt omnes.)
Tennis anyone?
Goot martze en strabo, hiba hiba
His name is our name too.

A Fundamental Error in the Original Set   (Originally published in my book, Love Poems for Cannibals – February 2013)

In the business of death
It always ends badly.

Cleaning the mirror,
Washing the blood away.

But we don’t laugh, but we don’t cry,
Making us better things.

As perfect as death,
Martin liest eine Zeitung.

A little bit like the Devil
Explaining his church to his brethren.

Having chosen the wrong path,
It always ends badly.

It’s a fundamental error
In the original set.

It’s a fundamental error
In the original set.

Raymond Keen was educated at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Oklahoma.  He spent three years as a Navy clinical psychologist with a year in Vietnam (July 1967 – July 1968).  Since that time he has worked as a school psychologist and licensed mental health counselor in the USA and overseas, until his retirement in 2006.  He is a credentialed school psychologist in the states of California and Washington, and a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Washington. 

Raymond’s first volume of poetry, Love Poems for Cannibals, was published in February 2013.  He is also the author of a drama, The Private and Public Life of King Able, which will be published in February 2016.  Raymond’s poetry has been published in 32 literary journals.


1 comment:

  1. Congrats! Raymond Keen, nice work. Michael Lee Johnson Itasca, IL poet.