UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
MAURICE OLIVER

Roommates: Numbly Oblige, Nocturnal

Companionship just now notable for imprecision.

But mainly, we agree that joy is nothing but a rash
judgment of voices rising from the floorboards and
that much of life could eventually become worrisome.
Our conversations are nothing more than bridges
across deep abyss. I sometimes like to stand at the
edge and admire its smart use of line breaks. She
occasionally likes to sort out its faults then distribute
them among the armed camp. Neither of us can find a
metaphor for our tweedy, rumpled city-gun feeling or
the fact that our mountainside walks with a limp. “I
think what the world needs is more calamity on the
third floor”, she confuses, using words accustomed to
being pampered. “Funny, I thought losing the remaining
leg to diabetes would be a sure-fire wake-up call”, I
reply, as I bake a cake for the after-funeral gathering…

and we both long to be a pair of socks…
or that one day missing from February.

Stories of fables without morals.
Nightingales without copyrights to songs.

And if you had a choice, would you rather be
“enormously gifted” or “exceedingly bright” ?


Each, Taller Than The Last

Begin with soiled words used as irregular verbs.
Letters in the alphabet that beat their heads

against a wall. A noun served along with a pint
at the neighborhood pub. Hair that trails behind

a string of adjectives. Pronounces hung-out on
a clothesline. Two prepositions caught in the eye

of a hurricane. Conjunctions born to alcoholics.
Then add a period as long as a houseboat. Put

them all together and they might grow up to be
airport pickpockets allergic to a tarmac or bank

robbers in a roller-coaster that pauses atop the
hump of metal scaffolding before suddenly

plunging downward screaming from view. Either
way though, the downside is sure to be jail time

in some fancy prison where all the wool carpet is a
soft shade of red and a delicate fleur-de-lis design.


After almost a decade of working as a freelance photographer in Europe,
Maurice Oliver returned to America in 1990. Then, in 1995, he made a
life-long dream reality by traveling around the world for eight months. But
instead of taking pictures, he recorded the experience in a journal which
eventually became poems. And so began his desire to be a poet. His
poetry has appeared in numerous national and international publications
and literary websites including Potomac Journal, Pebble Lake Review,
Taj Mahal Review (India), Dandelion Magazine (Canada), Stride Magazine
(UK), and online at thievesjargon.com, interpoetry.com (UK), kritya.com
(India), and blueprintreview.de (Germany). His forth chapbook, "One Remedy
Is Travel" will be published in August '07 at Origami Condom. He is the
editor of Concelebratory Shoehorn Review (www.concelebratory.blogspot.com).
He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works as a private tutor.







© 2007 Underground Voices