By Henry Tegethoff
- (Veracruz, MX)
Your blond god has fallen to untouchable vileness
What does he care for the atom bomb, the bed bugs,
the friendly financier waiting to repossess my delinquent flesh?
The dull beauty of my filed-down teeth,
straw soaked in animal piss,
Mouth full of blood and disinfectant,
I wash my hands in an old enamel bowl.
All of us, blown from east
Fallen leaves gather west:
the front wheel reflectoricepack and cigar smoke
the worn leather couch,
thrown down the walls.
Sleeping in a cattle car
a wheel sparking under us
running an iron rail gauntlet
Lights from home pulse hollow in the distance,
Like neglected coal, a pile of dampened embers
II. (Orlando, FL)
Yr blue love shining
Everywhere, sun-star, wailer
Hissing summer lawns
The golden rosary beads
O ever weeping
Yellow river mist
III. (Atlanta, GA)
Linoleum tile hallways, stiff and starched in white light
The boys kick the ball
Far across the field-
Lonely, the goalie waits.
Charming little bedraggled prince
Pleiades, spiders scrambling outta sinks
Flowers aiming crookedly
Geese cutting straight
Clouds bouncing empty
A telephone pole a hundred miles high
With buzzing wires of transcendence
The cheap-movie sticky-floor echoing bliss
The Spanish moss anthill orange juice bliss
The rubber-scuff orange-glowing asphalt-champion bliss
The midsummer of our lives
Folding beneath a molten moon
The bliss is heavy on my lids and I sleep
IV. (Franklin, NC)
Dead in heaven
Earth a swirling meat wheel
And the mothers the only ones
To smile at me;
They know I’m someone’s son
O old man, whom doth my garden keep
The things that you have seen would leave most men to weep
Tirelessly you work, and nothing do you reap,
Apart from all my dreams, which you harvest from my sleep
You’ve taken all I had now, and made it all your own
And saturated, now, is the garden you have grown
All the other fields lay barren, apart from Meter’s throne
My dreams, noble fruitions, that humbly you’ve sewn
Now both we lay, at our humble garden’s edge
And the smallest stars began to perforate the sun’s setting edge,
While lassitude, in its brilliant softness,
Begins to settle in Six feet beneath the daisies, in rest of mortal sin
V. (Cannon Beach, OR)
I’m running towards a winter sun
Hurdling down a cold red road for the sea
Tonight I’ll stretch full by the fire
And drink from a black and starry stream.
Tomorrow I’ll make brute music from the pounding of my heels on packed earth!
The tall prairie grasses are sighing; our loveblown bannerets mourn in vain.
A birdless heaven and a lonely seadusk, kicking off my boots and falling to my knees in the spotted sand.
The moon weaves a web of silence,
Lambent waters brood the passing of another sullen day
VI. (Lone Pine, CA)
Poets walkin’ outside the law,
Spewing bloodstained words
Life can only be lived forwards, but can only be understood backwards
Jaws set firm,
Facing down the roar as they sow fields of their innocence,
The winners of the game romping around in their dry daze.
The losers weep
Cheap blood suckers gnashing in their consciousness
The self loathing gangsters kicking the asphalt mud
Glittery-gold heaven’s angels sputtering around whistling gleeful
Everybody wants the same chimera,
The sawed-smooth sun-swept sierras
Everybody’s spoonfed champion jumping from the top
We stand trembling in our mortality boots, the drizzles of religion falling on a burial field, the grim mouth planted, the satin of the earth coffin.
I could write it on walls across America- Dove in wings of peace, great Noah menageries, moonshine eyes and milky minds, dead dogs with shiny claws
They will all go up to heaven from where they are,
Like golden phantoms of angels in gold strap we go hitchhiking the Deus Ex Machina to heights apocalyptic and divine
It’s sick and soggy and perfect.
VII. (Marietta, GA)
Last night I played tennis with Jonathan
In the bleak brown traffic air
In the mortal Golden eternity
In the dead silent coyote dogma
It’s a thin Dixie white and worn,
From Virginia slims, drawn and torn
An emasculated visage, plain and dry
Braids tracing backs, feet are spry
The minute can’t be trapped in nets of cold,
But it can be snapped at frantically
And clamped between the pages of a journal,
Like a firefly at the mercy of a child’s whim
They all know themselves
Be it beast or jackal or love,
And they pry at the nails of their late Sunday nights
Clawing at the crystal clarity of all their worlds
In the church they light the candles,
And the wax rolls down like tears-
The band sounds like typewriters,
Chickens scratching at my mortality
Plundered, betrayed, sold
crookedly they face a dark enclosure
Baptisms, marriages, masses for the dead
What if birds aren’t singing they’re screaming?
And roses are more than instruments of pure contradiction?
What if when gods come walking out of the living things,
Madness lifts its wing and covers half my soul?
VIII. (Bailey Island, ME)
The silence of god,
The unbearable silence of god.
The chatter of man, the silence of god.
This is the way it was,
While I was waiting for your eyes to find me.
The crucifix satellite tower
Stretching over the asphalt trenches,
Eric dolphy war whooping
For it’s a beautiful cosmos,
And a beautiful sea we sit watching
As it crawls in lazily.
You rolling in your sand dune sleep
I basking in my completion,
soaking in your enumerations
IX. (Murfreesboro, TN)
How we meet today
A movie night, a slumber party
Halloween on a tire swing
Our heads are drunk and empty
Take another walk by the scene
Of all the haunting pleasantries
I think I gave too much
But finally I understand your seasons
You speak in shallow sentences
For God is a dancer, nimble and busy
And if stay us dead in heaven
And our limbs should intertwine,
Shutter your stars, bleak and lazy
I’ll be back for them soon.