Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ralph Monday- Three Poems

Revising the World Through Pixels

A computer is not the place to find self, it is not
the eye of god, but is a virtual place that entered
long enough, coughs up narcissism in online
searches, a social medium where the high school
sweetheart returns cooing pursed lip kisses
while you dissected the frog in biology class
with instruments sharp enough to pierce a
witch’s black heart, the blood oozing out as a
curious plume where the smell can’t be sucked
away by ventilators. Or Miss Lawson, the hot
young typing teacher who wore tight skirts,
tighter sweaters so that her breasts strained
out like zoo beasts bursting through bars,
rumored to be having an affair with the principal.
At least that is what the acne faced girl said,
the one who wrecked the Drivers Ed car
while you read a science fiction pulp in the
backseat about bug eyed monsters gobbling
up young teachers in tight skirts and tight
sweaters. Said this to the principal when he
picked us up to drive us back to school,
and he never replied but sat with a face
used at blackjack tournaments in Vegas
while the girl’s pimples blushed in shame.
Then there was the biology teacher, a precursor
to Mr. Science, who told his sixth period class
that he could predict the future. He proved it
by having us concoct gun powder pellets
in chemistry class, place them in the hall
outside the class door. When dismissal bell
rang, the students rushing like windmills,
shoes plopping on the ambush, sharp popcorn
explosions made the girls squeal and scream.
He was right. Jumping jacks leaping into the
air, the forced air pressure as they descended
blew skirts upward so that we could see
their panties. Simple physics he grinned.
None of this is true of course—except the
acne, Miss Lawson, a book never finished,
and pixels on a screen.

Roasted Chicken at Walmart

Almost mythical you know in buying
potato salad and banana pudding at
the Walmart deli. While the deli lady
was measuring out the pound of flesh
I noticed fresh new chickens, plucked
like a guy feeding quarters into a slot
machine, gleaming white like a virgin
bride, merry-go- round twirling on the
roaster. Little headless things like miniature
people, pathetic wings tucked to the sides,
juices running down, grease from a mechanic,
given to the fire for all the ogres buying
toothpaste and toilet paper before taking one
or two home sans seven secret herbs and spices.
When they were little broasters pecking around
the cage, they probably saw themselves growing
into an enormous roc. Talons that could lift
a man, deposit him in the nest for pecking beaks.
If less ambitious, perhaps a great bald eagle,
symbol of a once great nation. Maybe a hawk
plummeting at two hundred miles an hour or at
least a vulture feeding on roadside kill.
Instead, noble destiny, flesh plucked from bone,
washed down with a six-pack of Budweiser by
Super Bowl halftime.

The Weather Girl

Storms across the screen wiping away
moisture, accumulated ice, clearing
minds of years of tattered weather,
like a tsunami washing clean the mind’s detritus.
We cannot stop watching. We need her
to point the way, a weathervane predicting
day’s journey.
Our obsession, dressed one day in red, the next
black, winter white, heels clicking like Dorothy
because there’s no place like the studio, she
glides like a hawk in freefall, guide to our
She explains the heat, our thirst for the desert,
shifting fronts, how it only takes a little pressure.
Highs and lows, snowcapped mountains like
towering breasts; a glib brunette, blonde, or
redheaded meteorological interpreter, eye of
the storm messiah, baptism found in rushing
tides, communion drinking slush, her skirts
a ritual TV robe.
Without her we are lost, headless weather people
lacking a barometer, not knowing when to barbecue,
shoes to wear, clothes to don.
The weather goddess is the great pixelated mother.
When we go to sea, interstated land, clear or stormy
skies, her Delphic microphone pronouncements, nodding,
returns us to the time of sages speaking from dark,
blind caves. We become children of moon, sun,
stars, her offspring.
When the screen is flat and blank, the spell remains
where eyelids of morning cast us into that predicted day.

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