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Our Beautiful Sadly Revolving Broken Wheel


by Darryl Price



 

The planet looks so peaceful doesn't it? Want a

Gumball? Like a pancake with blue dye mixed into

Its bowl and carried out by a winking Victorian

Butler. Like a bowling ball with just the right

Weight for your clumsy fingers. Like a silent psychedelic

Movie playing in your head. Like an indulgent rock

Opera performed by a band of rogue angels. Like

A lost hubcap. Like a political button for a

Nonexistent green candidate. Like a drop of blue dripped

 

Paint on an ancient drop cloth floor. Like a

Hole in your favorite sweater. Like the inside of

A circus lion's gaping mouth. Like a free balloon

Far enough away from the wires of civilization to

Make a good strong break for it. Like a

Seashell sitting on the sands of time. Like a constantly

Telephone ringing. Like a blossom opening its shop for morning

Business. Like a newly silk screened tee shirt advertising

Either a band or a restaurant, maybe a hip young bank,

 

Maybe a national park. Like a corroded penny found

In the grass or in your pocket change. Like if

The road was a revolving wheel that you were

Standing on in a dream of leaving and you

Kept having a hard time keeping your inner balance. A lost

Frisbee sitting in a garage in a little red

Wagon next to a pair of hedge clippers. Like

Something coming right at you at full speed, like

An arrow, like a tree branch, like an open

 

Mouthed river. Like a leaf floating around in a

Pond of scum, like a sailboat without a paper driver to its name. Like a

Popping off sound. Like a painted pony. Like a dangling fake

Bracelet. Like a pair of dancing feet wearing nothing

But painted toes. Like a lonely bike ride through

A laughing Autumn woods. Like the moon holding a sign up

That says, make up your mind, choose your celestial

Tea, and always pay the Gypsy before she invites you

To sit down at her table. Like the lie that

 

You have somehow given up on love for good, my true love,

Fading in the west of your sinking sun heart, I don't

Buy it now, or ever, no matter how Eastern

Your lovers get. Like a poem that sounded like

A science show, but really is all about a

Certain comedic feeling one gets when the stars align on top of you.

Like a jackpot machine puking out its phony stream

Of metal happiness, you're still barely alive in there. Like a fuzzy

Note from an electrified base player, I'm just as

 

Bored as ever over the dirty looks from your

Mad trajectory. Like a blue whale, a stone left

Atop your grave marker by a total stranger. Like

A lesson book scribbled upon with many strange and

Wonderful faces of aliens. Like a mysterious rhinoceros, I wish I 

Had the strength. Like a tree planted by the 

Passed over clouds, counting all the cracks in the painted and fading 

Sky. Like a Merriam-Webster dictionary dropped into the bath

with the bubble-making soap beads, what we're probably all about here.  




Bonus poems:




Your Stewardship by Darryl Price

 

I like how you want to pretend you are above

The pettiness of others, but they are you and you

Are not alone, no matter how many times you stamp

Your feet and cry. We've seen it all before. There

 

Are those in real pain, with hearts that resemble nothing

More than broken cups. Maybe their emptiness upsets you, it

Should, but you cannot take it from them and replace

Their ache with good deeds. What they want is a

 

Total reboot of the universe, one where they get to

Place their love in the proper arms and walk away first,

But even that hope brings about another crack in the

Eggshell. To take it all away from them is to

 

Reduce them to nothing. The phoenix rises from its own

Ashes, not the ones tossed upon it by Saints or

Housewives, but the ones it is consumed by in its

Own desires to be free and whole again. You want

 

Them to know that you care. They know or they don't

know. It is not up to you to define their grief

Or their healing. There can be no reward for mischief. There is

Only love in its fully blessed kindness or something sneaking

 

About in the dark corners of otherwise mindful giving.  You can't

Have it both ways, and they can't receive it without

It being presented freely. No strings, no applause, no acknowledgement,

No tax. Only doing, only being. You want the world

 

To know it can't escape your criticism, but you are

Aiming your spell finger at the wrong mirror like always,

Causing more pain to yourself than even you might deserve. You

Can only save us if you save you, the rest

 

Will follow naturally. Do what you must, but do no

Harm first, means don't assume knowledge when it's wisdom you

Are after, when it's only the grace of mercy that

Will allow you to be fully human in your actions

 

Towards all beings. You want to say you are good?

Act your stewardship, but I tell you this, we can

Only move the rocks in our way from where we

Are, one at a time, and no one can judge

 

our progress like ourselves—because we alone preside over the 

Brutal trials in our own heads. If you really want to

Do the right thing, do it because it's in everyone's best

Right thing interest and not because it fits the easy definition. dp   




    

Two Flowers Thrown Into a Vase

by Darryl Price


 

For Emily Dickinson

 

Home is gone. I'm an orphan too now, meaning I wasn't

Always so alone on this earth. Everyone I see is running from something invisible.

But they still sail their candles to the moon, hoping

To someday awaken someone on the other side of this glory

Who might just send them back a kind thought or give

 

A smile in the form of some spelling out birds. I've never received

A feather from the heavens with my name on it. yet

You and I are not alike in our choice of dogs, but

I still like to think of you walking the quiet night time streets

Alone with yours, breathing in the soft pelting raindrops 

 

With an intensity unlike any other person. That was your gift

More than your red hair, more than your refusal to

Give up your name or your fight with God and

The devil, believing both of them to be inadequate to

The task of being near enough to you to break

 

Your heart more than it already was. Instead you broke

Your own heart, and mine with it I might add. Who knew you

Had such power that could wait for centuries to explode like that into

A sudden hurricane? Did the little flowers know this? Did the Irish?

Perhaps the good children playing in the garden? All I know

 

Is what's here, we are together again, not in a dream,

But in a sense of the world, getting near the

End of something terribly unimaginable about to happen and I only wish I

Had your hand to hold. I suppose that is very

Selfish of me. You let your hand go where it

 

Wanted to go and nowhere else. You gave it the

Most important task of all, to put your cruel abandonment

Into a letter, without asking for any such forgiveness, without a twirl

Of singled out regret. You telegraphed that pain to the stars above and

Dared them to respond, all the while knowing full well

 

How they laughed behind your back. But the dog was

Faithful, the writing desk was faithful, the flowers were never

Going to go anywhere alone without you again, even the rain throwing itself

On the windows was a companion you could count on

To see you as you truly were, a warrior with

 

A sewn booklet of original coded words, meant to open emotional

Locks, meant to join clouds of butterflies together. Your home now

Is everywhere, mine is still somewhere hazy in the distance.

I don't know why it means so much to me

To speak to you in this bolded way. I'm not looking

 

For an answer to your being. As Paul said to John, you'd probably

Say that we were worlds apart, but I feel something

Different today. I would have liked to see you smile

With some more teeth put into it, or the back of your head tied

In a power ponytail instead of an acceptable practical bun. I think you

 

would have breathed a sigh of fantastic relief in a pair

of old lived in bluejeans and some comfortable open-toed shoes. You got a message to my blockhead somehow.

I'm not talking about all the others who also may hear your voice here. This is

As much as I can hope to do for you, but I'm

So glad for the chance. It's an honor. Thank you, oh singing wind.  




  


Author's Note

"..unless we become as Rogues, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven." 
E.D.

I like this astonishing impossible person so much. She is unlike anyone else. And yet her life was as full of spiders in the corners as anyone else's. But she was able to spark her poetry against the circumstances of her life and times in such a way that even today we still thrill to hear its originality. It's an amazing feat. I'm sure she had her doubts--how could she not? But her art has survived and has managed to speak to us in an urgent and tender way that resonates with even our postmodern gone-to-the-moon sensibilities. Pretty cool, Emily.












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