On a Black and White Photography Tour with a Sweetheart of a Ghost on My Arm

by Darryl Price


Suppose you should bend your whole body backwards you know

like a powerful bow and push the rest of

your true self forward in my face just like Georgia O'Keeffe in

nineteen-nineteen, push it all over in my general direction? My gaze would

certainly be more than just the official poetic

curiosity at work, posing the question of authority

at another wondrous natural landscape, to be framed

in the matter-of-fact context of a newly crystallized


awareness-- cloud-shaped or not. And yet she loved

this man, what she saw in him, more

than the urge to cover what he so

desired her to be. When Picasso turned his

young muses into a stained glass cartoon of

sexist beauty, collapsing even the brutish sun's rays

into a junk pile of entangled light, did

he in his wildest imagination notice the tears


shed for his own lost sympathies? When Cynthia

Lennon missed that transcendental train to the new meditation on a

future without fear and hate because no one was watching out for

her specifically, did the antique glass orb in

her chest tinkle to pieces as it fell

out and smashed onto its own black and

white paper street like so much trash? I'm telling you now, in

nineteen-nineteen Georgia was in the beautiful nude all


right, but she was the one setting up

the shot, youthful, secure, possible, primitive, weather or

no weather. So let me pose the question

to you again, are you willing to watch

the waves, knowing that your poet is preparing

to sail towards all desire for you, that

shipwrecked or not he will crawl on hands

and knees to bury his face in yours.  

Bonus poems:

Poem for The Outside by Darryl Price


Lately I've been using a heavily

opened upside down book for a new shell called

home, unwilling to entertain even

the very nice idea that maybe

I should go swimming out there once in awhile. I'd rather

look out from my own back pages, thank you, just

surrounded by a tight swirl of folding

around free floating words. I've still got a

pretty good view of enticing pretty


seaweed dancing in the changing daylight, because

of that I'm aware of the strong sway of

the latest currents. But those huge angry

dark shadows, still here after thousands of

jagged years, that sometimes speed by at such

incredible speeds and depths really make

me want to add a few more volumes to

my already collapsing roof until

I'm looking like my own strange standing up


coral, not looking for any trouble

really, just being my floating part in

the swirling about universe. What would

happen if we all lowered our weapons

at exactly the same moment in time? Lately we've

all got so much dried blood on our hands. Lately

we've all got too much permanent sadness inside  

of our still hurting heads. It's as if every

window to the healing truth is fastened


together with thick mucky blue paint and

will not budge open. We see the outside

possibilities, but no one's going

to break the safety glass first. So here we

are again. Lately I've been reading the

found notes from my own crying mind, like a

mad scientist, like a folk singer, to

find the quiet answer to so much gathered stuff,

restless sleep invading my sun lover's dreams of soaking up a good life. dp

Flowers On the Table


I've got to find my own way to shake it off, that's what they keep telling me,

but, really, I don't know what it is. All the ways seem made for someone else's dance

party system.  That's the only thing I can write here down for sure. The rest is only

me pretending to be taking a serious nap, but it feels pretty empty, searching somewhere on the

inside of looking at my closed eyelids for what we lost when we were just beginning. And you still stand there on


the other side of my radio demanding some kind of perfect payment from my least awakened thought.

I know it. You know it. But I'm still flabbergasted at the distance to the sun and

back every day just to maybe find a poem among the poison mushrooms growing by the side

of the road to make you smile again. I thought this was supposed to make you feel

like crowing like you can never get enough, but, look, it makes me feel so tired, all


this trying to be something, I mean, whatever happened to loving the moment, instead of waiting for the right time to arrive?

It gets lonely. It all seems like a hideous crime that no one wants to say out

loud has happened. I can't stand having to play a game just to get you to share what's in

your head with what's in my heart. There's your poem, at least for now. My suggestion is

to use it to get into your dreams this very night. Oh, what have we done? Oh. Oh.Oh.



Happy(an early draft)

by Darryl Price


Are we happy yet? Life without sorrow    is not life. Try again. Are we    happy yet? Killing yourself for pleasure after    pleasure turns out to be the opposite

    thing altogether, but you already knew that.    Try some more. Are we happy yet?    Love is not all you need, unless    you turn everything and that includes

 everyone    everywhere into love. Are you willing? Why    should I be the only one, when    I'm not the only one? Are we    happy yet? My choice is true hope

    I hope for everyone here, but you'll    say it's another con game made out    of pictures of hands because you can't    please them all. If it did I    wouldn't be

 doing it right. They want    a back flipping poet who is always    on their silly sides. I don't want    to be anyone's golden vampire. Check it    out. Are we happy

 yet? We've given    the children's keys to the kingdom to    the cloud people to hold until we    get back from the Crusades with our    bloody survivor stories to

 tell. Are we    happy yet? I smile into the mirror    of your eyes, but it doesn't work    out at all that way for me.    Are we happy yet? It's all good.    Try turning it off

 and on again.    I mean you've given everything you've wanted    to hide away to these unfeeling soul    sucking machines and now you want their    eternal thanks

 tattooed forever on your bank    statements like Christmas cards? No thanks. Are    we happy yet? Oh the magnificent bombs    didn't change a thing. Oh the carnival

    ride is over. Oh there's a big    shark in the river. Oh I think    we just may have misread the tea    leaf vibes after all. Oh there's a    feeling we seem to be missing

 in    the backs of our minds. Oh I    don't feel so good. But you said.    Are we happy yet? Oh you don't    love me anymore. I'll put my pants    back on. Oh she

 was the most    beautiful woman I ever played hooky with.    Oh you're kidnapping my laugh. Oh catch    me if you can. Are. We. Happy.    Yet? Oh give