by Darryl Price
All these poets with their hands
Full of poems are driving
Me into the wheat fields like
A flock of crows. They offer
You a cigarette and light
The damn thing with a poem.
They give you a little dance,
But when they take off their shoes
Poems are stuck to their feet
Like blades of grass. All their lips
Taste like poems dipped into
Barbecue sauce. They trail with
You after butterflies or
Fireflies, but when it comes time
To free all the prisoners
Their keys will only unlock
A chest full of more poems.
What's wrong, they will say, don't you
Like poetry? Eyelashes
Wink, but the closer you look
The more you make out the ends
Are fastened with small poems.
Earrings are acrobats with
Poems to be handed out
Like flyers to the breathless
Crowds below. They'll invite you
Over for dinner, but your
Fork and knife have been replaced
With rolled up poems, tied with
Typed out blurbs. These poets don't
Believe in poetry as
A way of life, of being
Awake, they see it as a
Fabulous job and they must
Get there first, or die trying.
All these poets want you to
Swallow their words without chewing.
Without thinking. Without
Buttoning. Without feeling
For the poor souls who need it
The most. Without so much as
A thank you for the listen.
The Ragged Stars Spit Their Stained Wooden Teeth
by Darryl Price
on belts upon the cold slice of my clouds
like sopping poor man's curtains. I can't help
this hill. You get to climb into someone's
friendly valley lap and sleep. I can't help
these flopping, wounded birds trying to fly
through dirt like sick frogs. I've got my tiny
skeleton scarf to drag myself with, but
you've got each other. I've got my parched hands
stuffed in my pockets like missing scars, but
you've got more than yesterday's tears. I did
not get to forget. I've got my Captain
wherever I go, but you've got your steel
army of polished fingers lifting you
to safety above the splashing norm. I've
got my lonely window full of dreams, full
of blowing leaves, but you've got your apples
like new pink erasers in a basket
of no wrong. I've got my songs in my head
like shadows that came apart. I'll never
see you again. I've got my electric
wires, it's all trees on a slope. I've got a
diamond soul, but you've got a paid for
future, no matter the burned out sorrow.
All rights reserved.
People want to be poets like people want to be rock stars--but it's not that simple. It's not enough to write poems. It's not enough to read your poems in public. It's only enough when it's enough to matter throughout time and space. It's only enough when people want to turn off their TVs and hold each other tightly as you read.