The live oaks grow angry. They bend toward the ground, scoop up children and hold them above the performances of ambiguous kings. Kids sitting in the branches trade Pokémon cards and look like ornaments for some future parade. They reach down to help up the ones left on the ground. Someone helps a turtle across a busy street. Every act of kindness looks like an act of defiance.
Peculiar wind whistles through the streets: cold from the north, warm and humid from the south. It changes by the minute. I check Twitter to see what I should wear but decency is so out of fashion, and all the pale models wear wings torn from dragonflies and shoes of rhino hide. I study scorpions and avarice and plant hope deep in the ground where scrub jays cache their food. I have learned seventeen synonyms for fiasco.
there’s a snowfield in my dreams
where tracks weave off toward winter
I imagine leaves
buried in distant snow
I wish I had them
I’d use them like someone
arrange them so I’d know
what I was thinking
a fire searching through books
in response to Dave Bonta’s “Ministry of Truth”
Here are two takes on my poem “For Gasoline” from my collection Highway Sky and made available for creative remix at the (now defunct) Poetry Storehouse.
In the first, Eduardo Yagüe translated the poem into Spanish and then made the video from the translation. The second is an English-language version (using the audio I’d provided to the Poetry Storehouse) that includes the text of Eduardo’s translation and was made by Javi Zurrón.
It’s a wonderful thing to see how other artists reinterpret one’s work in new and surprising ways. Thank you Eduardo for making this happen!
Update: 12.9.16: These videos are featured at Moving Poems today. Thank you, Dave.
This is the video for the Cwtch song “I Drove to the River” made by vocalist Marie Craven. The lyrics are based on my poem “God Bless Johnny Cash” from Highway Sky. You can also download “I Drove to the River” here, and I highly recommend Cwtch’s album Silver while you’re at it.
I’m excited to announce the publication of my prose poem chapbook What Stranger Miracles by White Knuckle Press, “publisher of online chapbooks of prose poems.” My sincerest thanks to editors Dale Wisely and Howie Good for agreeing to publish it, and to Dale for his care and attention to the design, which is just wonderful.
You can read What Stranger Miracles free online. I hope you’ll check it out. And be sure to look around at all the other work published by White Knuckle Press.
I was stunned speechless last night when I heard this lovely track made by Marie Craven and Paul Dementio working together as Cwtch. Stunned because the lyrics come from my poem “God Bless Johnny Cash” (from Highway Sky) and I am thrilled by what amazing music they have made with it and can’t wait to hear what comes next. This is what can come of Creative Commons and the sharing culture. Thank you Marie, Paul, and Cwtch. Now, have a listen.
Give you twenty bucks
for that old Ko-RE-an thang,
the pawn shop man drawled.
Horrified, I walked out. Tried to
hold tight to you, beautiful
blue first love stratclone guitar.
But the Ford’s tires were flat,
the bills were due, and you
never sang in my hands.
We just never connected
like I would with others, later,
with lower actions whose necks
felt better in my fumbling
hands. But beauty stutters
the lips, and you were ocean
midnight neon airport lights,
the color of the sounds I wanted.
But those thintread tires needed
changing. We said goodbye.
Sometimes I still try to find you.
We’ll reconnect on eBay, maybe
Craigslist. I poke my head
in some south Austin pawn shop
hoping you’re still around twenty
years later, that headstock nick
from the ceiling fan a story
only you and I will ever know.
This Is Not a Literary Journal: Ode to a Thing
I guess if you’re going to try to write to your own prompt, you might as well write one of the examples.