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Peaches and Blame
Reflective numbers eat away at
tree bark, the resin drips on my
head like a necessary fluid
for pumping gas, arteries
water pumps divided in two pieces by
swift knuckles, dimpled chins
and Black and White movies.
The mouths move within an
inch of completion, the hands
reach into nothing, the eyes
dart back and forth, and
then the feet dance around:
two or three times in a row.
He moved his lips this morning.
There was no sound, but I’d
turned it down, but when I
turned it up all I could hear
was the hum of the signal.
It was faded and blocked by the trees
and those eyesore cell phone
towers that never send a signal
when you need it. I whacked the
TV but that didn’t help. My
eyes seized on a caption that
explained why there was no
sound. I took my cell phone
and whacked it on the counter.
I dropped it in the sink to see
if it would float. I dropped
one in a toilet two years
ago and it sank like my
hand did when I spotted a
fish and tried to grab it.
His lips keep moving and I
watch them transfixed. I look
up “transmogrification” in
the dictionary and think there
are more words than I could
ever imagine that start with
“ex.” I stare at his mouth,
his beard, his curly black
and white hair and realize
that I heard every word.
A new face at the window is
Unexpected, but welcome
As steaming hot cocoa
Or imported tea or soft
Cloth comfort and bucket seats
Taking cruise control for
Granted, neglecting mileage,
Avoiding oil changes
Or the same old arguments
About why some live in
Mansions while others
Sleep in cars.
A Cow On A Bridge
Off Interstate 81 in Virginia
a cow stands on a bridge --
head low, teeth chomping grass.
His Dentist probably tells him
grass is not good for your teeth,
too much soda causes decay,
or holes in the enamel.
The high rectangular window
I see from the dental chair:
tree top views, blurry birds.
A slave of disposable paper cloths,
fastened chains, numb jaws.
Two weeks after my last checkup,
my Dentist drove into a lake.
I became a vegetarian.
The Zero Lot Line
This is not a house on wheels like Noah's
ark, a turtle's back, or a
plastic bag slung over the shoulder.
It is a wide dirt lot of red mud clay
and flattened memories, crushed mementos,
bull dozed keepsakes. A couple of
metal snakes lie curled up in a
ball their lungs choked by the day.
The house was old. They moved
it two miles away on a hill with
no view except of another hill
eaten alive by kudzu in summer
and spring, drowned in dead brown
grass in fall and winter. This
is not a house on wheels even
though I saw it creeping along
the street yesterday in the evening sun.
(Previously published in "AntiMuse" Feb. 2005)
Snow on Lumber
The thumb's excuse for a splinter
grows white and hot and
peels right off like snow
on the tongue, a gritty taste
of chewy gravel, sparkling rock
that glimmers on the left hand
in any kind of weather. The
boards are rotten, ripped out by
weathered hands that pound in
vinyl siding of green and
neon yellow out of place
underneath the fog and with
the ocean - or an island --
thousands of miles away. The
splinter comes right out and the
hand is okay, brushing away the
snow with a swish of the fingers.
(Previously published in "Word Riot" 2005)
Water On Tap
He drank too much water. That's
What the coroner said, they
Were all in the pub when it happened.
When his wife came, she didn't seem
Surprised that his brain was waterlogged,
And she paid his tab in full.
His lungs were drowning.
His stomach an ocean.
His bar stool empty, and
His drinking mug smudged, but dry.
His wife paid his tab with cash.
Hiding behind a fabric chair reminds me of
childhood games of dragon tales,
capes of blankets, flashlights in the dark
and yells of "spotlight."
Updated hourly, the hands seize
the clock tearing it to shreds.
Heralding the start of the race,
I remember his resolve at
thinking he'd hit a lucky bet
and land on easy street. I
don't know if it happened,
I never returned his calls.
Staying in touch could
never be so easy, he thinks
as he registers himself online.
Harboring a fugitive, seemed her
only recourse or she would've had
to leave him this time.
Need to call home? Help is only a
phone call away. (Written on a
cardboard sign somewhere
outside of Roswell, New Mexico.)
(Previously published in "Eye" Nov. 2005)
L.B. Sedlacek's poems have appeared in a variety of publications such
as "The Aroostook Review," "Poet's Canvas," "X Magazine," "Facets,"
"Inkburns," "Edgar Literary Magazine," "Spiky Palm," "Dispatch," "Heritage
Writer," "Transparent Words," "Coppertales," "Texas Poetry Journal,"
"Open Mouse," "HazMat Review," "sidereality," "Lite," "Iodine," and
"ART:MAG." L.B.'s latest chapbook is "Average Bears" (Assume Nothing Press).
L.B. has received 2 Pushcart Prize nominations.
C)opyright 2007 L.B. Sedlacek- All Rights Reserved
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