Monday, February 23, 2015

Daniel Wilcox- Three Poems

The Modern Covenant

Bad rituals
Lost religion
Of disengaged couples
Uncoupling on
Rail lines that never join
Not a traveling union
Scabbed and only
Repeating ing ing
Copping a plea
The feeling of deeply
Not populating
Only copulating
Urinal leavings
Not the spurt of life
Too precious in the growing
Not passion
But passive lust
Over and over
Lost rituals
Destructive routes
Routing ing ing
Through the ‘mine’ field
Worn to the ‘marrow’
Rigor mortis

Reprint: First published in The Cerebral Catalyst
April 2008

Iraqi Temples

A masked gunman in black stands
On a smoky street corner in Mosul.

Palms rear up, in the background,
With green branches like hands to Allah.

His left rubber sandal hangs ripped,
Red spots dribbled on the blue plastic;

One hooded jihadist—the signet of the guttered streets
Of 23 armies ruling the smudged smog of 33 million.

The Euphrates and Tigris rivers steel with sheen
Like the blades of historic scissors—Closing…

The threat of the cutting,
The bleeding of a people.

A Kalashnikov rifle fingered in his raised hands;
On the ground prone, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

Most of the streets lay as desert; it's Friday the day of worship,
God is Great! blares in triumph from the minarets;

A wretched Toyota, bombed, metal--wrenched and contorted
'Lies' in front of him, its bodies, idols of the fly;

It's Ramadan, the month of ultimate submission to Allah,
And the Islamic State Caliphate fasts from sweets and melted cheese

And roams the streets, masked, hungering for infidels and Shia,
But far back down a scarred, sharia-strewn alley

Behind the modern, sacred mosque, blindfolded bodies
Lay prone in endless prayer, red circles in their temples.

Reprint: First published in different form
in The November 3rd Club
Spring 2007

On Visiting Hemingway’s Mansion

Next to the mansion Pauline’s money bought
Where Hemingway wrote
Timeless stories
Of skill
And luck
And Nothing…

Next to this blocked hard beauty
Of coral rock,
Survivor of hurricanes
Their dissolute lives
Of lust and liquor
And divorce…

Next to the survivors, the 54 cats
Including the 6-toed ones
And a 150-year-old Banyan tree…

Stand the Key West lighthouse and the mortuary.

Light and death…
Suicide at 61
Hemingway spoke of writing one true sentence.
Why not live one true life?

Reprint: First published in The Rogue Poetry Review
Winter 2007

Brief Bio: Daniel's wandering lines have appeared in many magazines in the United States, Canada, and overseas including Word Riot, Centrifugal Eye, Write Room, Static Movement, Camel Saloon, Fish Food, Poetry Pacific, Counterexample Poetics, and Unlikely Stories IV.

Before that Daniel hiked through the University of Nebraska, Cal State University, Long Beach (Creative Writing), Montana, Pennsylvania, Europe, Arizona, and Palestine/Israel. He now lives on the central coast of California with his quilting wife.

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