Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rich Boucher- Three Poems

Father’s Whistler

They say that if you lose a tooth in your dream,
it means that someone you love will die very soon. 
I never believed in that little bit of folk wisdom,
mostly because I was scared that dreams could really mean things
but also because I never cared for the hippie types
who helped to promulgate such bunk into the culture.
They say that if you lose a tooth in your dream
it means that sometime in the next week 
one of your light bulbs is going to go out.
I dreamed that I lost a tooth only a few months
before we lost my father to the ravages of getting older;
I keep that tooth in a jar in the bottom of my dresser
to remember what it means to cage something important.
About two weeks after the funeral, I noticed that 
I was starting to grow a new tooth in the hole 
left behind by one of my wisdom tooth extractions;
I thought it was strange but I didn’t dwell on it. 
Another new tooth started growing right behind 
that new wisdom tooth about a month later. 
This kept happening and hasn’t stopped happening;
I keep growing new teeth at least once a month. 
It’s got to the point where it’s physically difficult 
to spit out the phrase new teeth at least once a month 
with all of these new teeth getting in the way. 
I went to one of my dentists to discuss this freakish growth
and he told me that the new teeth were coming from my father;
my dentist told me that each time my deceased father
dreamed of me, from beyond the grave, in whatever bed
he may have been lying in out there in the next world, 
a brand new tooth would appear in my mouth. 
The truth of this hit me quickly and instinctually,
thickening in the air like so much pungent incense.
As of the time of this writing, I can’t sing anymore,
because I now have over one hundred and sixty teeth in my mouth
and the number keeps growing each month and week. 
Truthfully, these new teeth prove that death has a beautiful smile,
though I would give anything to be able to whistle again 
without sending sparks flying everywhere. 
The thought of salt water taffy terrifies me. 
If I could get the words out without screaming a song 
about nails on a chalkboard, I’d tell you I miss my father.


The strong winds and the piercing rains 
knocked out the servers at the newspaper last night.
The news, as a consequence, got to the outside world
a little too late for it to still be considered the news.
The outside world already knew that the Japanese
had almost been earthquaked off the map
before the last of the newspaper bundles
had been dropped off on the sidewalks in the dark,
like latecomers arriving to a house party 
when almost everyone’s gone and the dip bowl is empty.
The strong winds and the piercing rains
took down a whole slew of telephone poles last night,
and the telephone poles spat out a little bit of lightning
as they crashed onto the roofs of cars under last night’s 
bright and loud and dark and frightening evening sky.
The strong, powerful winds and the piercing, shrieking rains
flooded the homes of a million ants in town last night. 
A million ants evacuated, tried desperately to gather up
everything they owned before the flood came last night.
The strong, howlful winds and the piercing, banshee rains
made it very hard to see what all was going on 
outside our windows, on our lawns last night.
Anything could have been happening out there
outside our windows, on our lawns last night
but the blue, piercing winds and strong, jet-black rains
just would not let us see what was happening.
Anything could have been happening out there
in the driving, strong winds and freezing, piercing rains.
What if a man was stuck out there in all of that
and no one gave him shelter because no one could see him?
What if a man was stuck out there in all of that
and no one gave him shelter even though he could be seen?
Would we all be accomplices to whatever happened to him?
Why didn’t someone, anyone, anyone of us human beings
go out there in the deathly, freezing winds and the dark, driving rains
to grab him by the arm and pull him into the house where it was warm?
Why didn’t we hurry, hurry him to the front porch 
where the light bulb swung over the rocking chair 
like a hanged man under a tree in a storm?
What in the hell is wrong with us?

Bundle of Joy

Everyone, mostly the women but a few men, too, flocked around the new mother when she came back to visit the office on Friday. It was a touching and beautiful and touching scene that touched everyone involved in a beautifully touching way. There was a lot of touching, and the smell of baby lotion mixed with the smell of office and copier toner clouded the room and then a bunch of cherubs overhead vibrated with glee so hard their heads blasted apart. There was so much emotion about the new baby that everyone was touching each other. So much oohing and cooing commotioning right there in the middle of the Accounting Department.  Jackie wanted to show her baby off at least once before heading back home to enjoy what little remained of her maternity leave. She pulled the downy pink blanket to the side to show off her baby gun. Infant weapon. Just a few weeks old. It was adorable and everyone energetically agreed upon that until they came. Lovable. Jet-black. Blued steel. Hot cold. Nine-millimeter. The baby gun made a weak little sleeping sound as Jackie handed it off to Pauline, who was so anxious to hold it her nipples leaped forward through her blouse and made loud munching noises. The little baby gun appeared almost to be smiling in its slumber.  So precious.

Rich Boucher resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Rich served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee, and also as a member of the 2014 Albuquerque City Slam Team. Currently a freelance staff writer for the ABQ Free Press, his poems have appeared in Gargoyle, The Nervous Breakdown, Yellow Chair Review, The Mas Tequila Review, Menacing Hedge, New Bourgeois, Cultural Weekly and MultiVerse, among others, and he has work forthcoming in Damfino Press and penwheel lit. 


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