6 Poems
by Larry Sawyer

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Crawlspace Tango

On a bench my newspapered nerves flutter.
Bloom of a dark, wide silence, the human
Tether keeps pulling. Like a snake bisected
Some hypotenuse out of sight, caffeinated.
The rejection of the forest floor, therefore
Is, in its elevator, a wordless weight, while
Originality convalesces in a retirement ward.
Can you see them? Festooned with teenagers
These quixotic gymnasia replete with audits
Move, slender and klutzy, as if incomplete.
But when the revolver of Indianas reloads
Accomplished summers annex talismans.
Every piñata from my childhood owes
Me a climax or a switchblade. What
Thumbnail December powered the twittering
Machine of our darkest months, yet kept me
Sheathed in the comfort of that celestial
Grinding? Do the cement notes of Orpheus still
Drip from the trees where the laundry
Of our lives waits in such rustic quarters?
Neither, say two final gondoliers ad infinitum.

Woof, woof, woof

Look, fried chicken, a lonely moon
With fey eyes, electric women
Wearing windows and nothing else
A crazed prisoner, perhaps flying,
With a mouth like a cavity, these
Jaws of Nebraska, faux natives,
Slander and oceans, tourists jiggly in the
Distance. Who texts such punks with
Shibboleth diction? What divine blackboard
Triple dunks boldly whose fairy?
Were there ghosts, dismal and grinning?
At the mall were no clichés or surgeries
But a sick levity and ticking quicksand.
Dogs selling bags of imaginary gravity.

Of Tchaikovsky

Laughing, my sense
Of humor came to visit me in
The middle of the night. War
And famine jumped out the
Window. I pulled out a chair
For my sense of humor and
Then yanked it away at the last
Second, allowing my sense
Of humor to fall on its ass.
My sense of humor thought
This wasn’t very funny, so I
Attempted to make amends.
I cooked the most elaborate dinner.
There was a lit candelabra. The sounds
Of Tchaikovsky, D Major, Op. 35,
Like a sloppy kiss, laid its sticky notes upon
The air. Later I discovered that
Nothing would ever make the
Seasons change any faster and no
One would ever explain to me how those cars
Could slide past the window outside
Filled with such private

But Still We Have to Pay Taxes

In the Old Norse
tale about the candle wax
and fragrent eyes
you may have
noticed that lemurs
stacked whales in
the cold shout of
Swedenic winters
and frozen sighs
limned the dingle starry
as if you were
paper and upon your
face a poem writ
such that goblets
filled with celestial
spit descended
angelically from
gypsy skies.

Everybody Has One Missing Piece

Remarkable that it doesn’t yelp
Candied in evening.
But I’ll be the ripple in your day
And together we’ll echo ‘cross the hills.
You should be that whisper
Who desires to scheme and buys a
High-class chronometer
From which sprouts forgotten moments
Pleasant as a 7-11.
In some tangle of scissors, making a collage of
Venison, we recessive cartoons
Tricked out ponies
Go around in cars, listen to cuss
Come upon a clearing where we
Watch ourselves on gigantic couches
Urban as fuck
Awash in subtlety
As the dark creature night
With its armor of winter suns
And unlisted telephone number
Excretes the same old jokes.

And Vice Versa

Apply icing to a compass and wander off.

Tickle those exotic deserts.

Don’t allow the volatile thread-counts of delicate fabrics
to smother your fires within.

Divide the October air with motorcycles and mustaches.

Cut a thick slice of sensitivity
and serve coolly to the most near-sighted banker.

Cradle that manic actor.

Brew a pot of dolphins.

Domesticate a mosque.

Trust in prosciutto.

Pin the ghastly mountains of Europe
high to the wall of your room.

Because silence is the best asphalt

use your confusion as ornamental motif.

Compliment that lonely factory on the horizon.

Address your pillow as Remedios Varo.

To fight the oppression of perpetuity

pen a love letter to guns