UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY


CARL MILLER DANIELS

taste

the football players are built like refrigerators.
except for the quarterback.
the quarterback is built like a textbook anatomical drawing
of the ideal husband and perfect god-like guy. everything
is in just-right proportion. chest, hands, lips,
trachea branching into two perfectly symmetrical bronchi,
scrotum perfectly bi-lobed, testes nestling within, just
behind the relaxed fit of the quintessentially exquisite dick.
the quarterback stands there half-naked among
the refrigerators,
and he looks so out of place in his utter perfection
that it's difficult not to
wonder if the others think of him as not
really one of them, as a representative of
another species perhaps, and if
they picture a quick sudden
whirlwind carrying him away,
touseling his hair,
roughing up his balls, chafing the pink tight skin of
his lightly furred and inner thighs.
nobody says anything, but when
the quarterback strips down for his shower,
the refrigerators
crank out the ice cubes,
and then watch them melt.


half-light of whiskey science

the hens in the henhouse smell scratchy and rough to
me, as i go through the nests and extract the eggs.
my grandmother has taught me how to do this, but
now, i am on my own. she trusts me. i am what,
7, 8, 9 years old? maybe younger than that.
maybe older. memories blur and fuzz and
perhaps even grow soft downy feathers
as one gets older. i remember the odor,
though, of the henhouse. the odor was
dark, and musky, and, yes, female. broodish.
perhaps the eggs themselves had no aroma.
perhaps it was just the aura of the henhouse
itself. or, perhaps, still warm from the body
heat of the chickens, the eggs smelled of
the female body parts they had just passed
through on their way to the nest, on their
way to my hands, and then into the waiting basket
into which i placed them. i carried
the warm eggs back to my grandmother, there
in her kitchen, where she washed
them gently with a soft brush in the sink;
she may have used a little dish-washing
soap on them, too, but i just can't remember
that part. then, she dried them off
and put them in a big white bowl
in the refrigerator,
where they became cold, and quite
odorless, as if there never had been
any odor, ever -- and, if there had been, we
just wouldn't think about it anymore.


Carl Miller Daniels is 58 years old. He currently lives in ruggedly masculine Homerun, VA. Over the years, his poems have appeared in lots of nice places: Chiron Review; CommonLine E-Journal; FUCK!; My Favorite Bullet; Nerve Cowboy; Pearl; Thieves Jargon; Wormwood Review; Zen Baby; Zygote in my Coffee; and 5AM, to name a few. Daniels has had two chapbooks published in the past dozen years or so: Shy Boys at Home (published by Chiron Review Press), and Museum Quality Orgasm (published by Future Tense Books). The poet Antler wrote the following comment for Daniels' chapbook Shy Boys at Home, and Antler's comment appears on the cover of that chapbook: "Carl Miller Daniels' poems incarnate youthful gay sexuality with gentleness, passion and delight. Shy Boys at Home is a unique contribution to the renaissance of gay poetry in America at the beginning of the new Millennium." (Nice comment, huh?) On three separate occasions, Daniels has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He and his lover, Jon (aka "the sweetest man in the world"), have lived together for over 30 years.







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