these may not be my 10 best poems but they are my favorites to read - steven b. smith
Confessions of a Conservative
Let others munch spare frogslegs and things
Or their mother's tidbits so fine.
I prefer wee bumblebee wings
With a pipe of blueberry wine.
I've no desire for porcupine stew
Aunts coated in chocolate yea thick
Ala flayed caribou
Or some other chef's table trick.
A simple table whenever I dine.
Not mine all these modern cuisines.
I'm quite satisfied with blueberry wine
And old fashioned bumblebee wings.
The promised land of milk and honey
Hides the men of scars and shame
Who came they say to slay their dragon
Yet slayed to stay the same
Sleep creeps like Jason's wool
Down shelf enchanted eyes
Devolved from Mammon's muse
These self selected wise
Inside their phantom rooms
In fairy tale castles
Devoid of viable dooms
As integrated assholes
Old wonders shrink, grow tame in time
The new fear hangs on
In quiet desperation, quit of desire
Like the shadow of a crowded
Culture in which each
Declare their innocence
In straight unfocused silence
It is there
The smell of unwashed
Dishes smug in the stench of our
Like a salesman's underbreath
The deep teal, the tiled resonance
It aint age.
It ain't sex.
It ain't race, religion, height,
gender, color, class or learning.
It's path, progress and position.
The road not not taken.
Be here now.
o eyes unseeing
o ears unearned.
We're all perfect potential
cept maybe republicans, lawyers,
the true organized crime called police
the true whores called priests.
You can walk on water IF water wants.
There ain't no dark night's ungentle light.
Ain't nothing outside but lies.
But even lie true ain't for you.
Don't need no god.
No catholic pimp pushing blood feast.
My lie's mine.
Walk my own walk.
Fuck the talk.
Grasshoppers gone wrong become ants.
Bad ants cry uncle, cry wolf, cry baby.
Goats goad sacrifice to sun.
Ritual requires repetition, release.
Nothing stays river's run
but drought's dry dirt
(and river still runs).
Rub your ears together.
Start a fire.
Let gone go.
As has been said
The night weighs upon the city
In tired, fat insolence. Rat scurry.
Old papers flap down empty streets.
It is an ugly season. Full.
Day slouches in, in shameless anonymity
Devoid of great chained excuses of being
A voided has been of god, notion and country.
Unfocused without, we hunt worms within
To bait further cold excretion of reason, rationale.
Refuse refusing our naked nothing.
Strip steal by night.
Poor naked ape, melancholy Dane
Dying the silent, sinking orange
I offer my praise to mad Ophelia's black mass.
Receiving Laertes' pain poisoned harangue
I'll soon join that fortunate lass
Morpheusly oblivious of pain
(Camus' first question of philosophy re
weaves Thane Hamlet's "or not to be,"
brings Kant's "progressive unification of
sense manifold" to termination: total
psychic expiration. Hence our sole
existential goal becomes fervently wishing
good death's black ghoul to sensually become
as one with our whole)
Where God assumes skull Yorick's reign
Stay yet awhile Horatio, give lie to my name.
December of 68 I was lying on LSD on my bed downtown Baltimore.
Walls, floor, ceiling, doors all painted flat black.
Metallic mobiles and assorted assemblages hung from the ceiling
turning at will in low green and blue light.
My future wife walked in and sat so she could see me in the mirror.
So and so just got married she said.
Watch her reflection watching me.
So and somebody else also married.
Watch her reflection evaluate my reflection's reflection.
Even through the LSD I could see she wasn't talking what she was saying
I just want to know what's going to happen she screams
stalking into the living room.
I lie there amid my hallucinations and resentfully realize
I'm too weak not to marry her.
Another's strong needs always overrode my indifferent apprenticeship.
20 minutes later she skulks back to the bedroom.
OK I snap.
OK what? she snaps back.
We'll get married.
Six months I finalize
feeling sure the artist within will wither once reduced to marriage,
suburban boxes, the upperclass hypocrisy rampant in her family and friends.
We had a rich wedding in a high Episcopal-cum-Catholic cathedral.
Reception held of course at the country club.
None of my freak friends came.
The day of the wedding
I put all the trash left from moving in the middle of the floor
smoked the last of my grass
took off all my clothes
and slowly danced naked about the trash
sprinkling it with my box of monosodium glutamate
and chanting unknown chants of sorrow.
2 poems from the 1960s: Confessions of a Conservative, Night Fragment
3 poems from the 1970s: The Corporate Mean, Past Lies and Poverty, Suicide Note
2 poems from the 1980s: Foreplay, Marriage Proposal
1 poem from the 1990s: Alone This Train
2 poems from the 2000s: Now Zen, The Bisque Buddha