Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tom Hatch- Three Poems

Unlike Smoke

A Chair under a Bridge
A Bathtub on a Bank
A chair under a bridge no one sits there
A bathtub pushed to the edge 
No one bathes there either
Discarded above the paralleled railroad tracks
Nearby high reeds that do not hide 
My naked chalky white skin nor do I want them too
The trains that pass me are people not of my life
Nor do they see me in white chalked dust
My theater’s back-drop and props are a
A bridge over a chair and a bathtub
On the bank forgotten 
Coming out of the light yellow reeds
Position crossed legs on the chair
The trains pass I wait for someone
To call out my name no one does
Even though I sometimes wave with the help of the wind
The bathtub is filled with dried leaves
My next act is a bath in those dreaded wormy leaves
But the tub acts instead on its own accord like a sled
Sliding down leaving a dusty trail to the tracks spilling
My white chalk dust skin out of the porcelain white tub
Separated from being as one as the train speeds 
Shouts my name to an end
Standing feeling full of energy
For a moment the train passes
Through me, shaking my head
Looking around I am untouched
I pull the tub back up the forgotten bank
Getting in I will dry and shrivel up with the leaves
my final act has been reached in 
luxury lowbrow arena
Ann Hatch's Closets
The closets contained mysteries
They seemed to reveal just enough
Real things but hidden deep inside
Some things were there being kept a
Secret from me of what I wanted to see
There was a closet in the hall
Opposite the phone and its stand
This one had chipped painted 
drawers and shelves in were
Sheets and towels I think
In one of the drawers a fake fur
Musty monkey puppet lived which
Came to life on her hand and in a smoky voice
Her bedroom closets oh, where
Scary things seemed too appear
And disappear in my innocent mind
Silk to go and soft things of delicate stare
Those were the most mysterious of all
The smell of her perfume played
A harmonic melody beckoning to stay then run away
Wanting to peek inside, I was too timid and shy
Seek and peak only in my imagination
Each closet held its own type of intrigue
Always seemed full of the darkest time of night
Probably because I could not reach the dragons tail
The pull chain that turned on the light

But, the best closet of all was filled with toys
Much older than the ones I had
Tin cars, trucks and leaded soldiers
In them many stories were told and played
on the old stained oak floor knowing 
I would tell it this way someday
Engraved Fluid
Showering a choreographed event in the steam
Takes a shape
Drenched shining arms and legs bent
and bending passing soap from right to left
Hearing harp strings spray
hand to hand under legs across the body horizontal
vertical up neck sponged on to face ear to ear
Perched into a tight corner a reference of another 
suds down the drain sliding on knees to toe lather
hair rinsing full filling no container splashing
More legs than mine intertwine
to the floor squeak of feet as the water 

is turned off door open steam of fog a friend tapping
on my shoulder is the drip from the shower head it seems
Pretending two wet shoulders blend

stepping onto cold stone surface then on an island rug
For no more than one
Toweling starts from head to holding you snared
in my arms as shrouds of towels drop becomes our bed
A circle of gentle watershed our puddle lies
Left for us to invisibly evaporate carved into a nut and bolt
Tom paid his dues in the SoHo art scene in the 70s, 80s and 90s. He was awarded two NEA grants for sculpture back then. And taught at various colleges and universities in the NYC metro area in art (including Princeton and U of Penn. in Philly). He is a regular at The Camel Saloon and BoySlut. He had recently published at The Mind[less] Muse and this site last month. He lives in CT with a few farms up and down the road works in Manhattan. His train ride to and from NYC is his solace, study and den where it all begins and ends.

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