UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY - 05/2012

MAURICE OLIVER

Or Musical Instruments Like The Guillotine...

Most people go to sleep at night.

My insomnia screams like a leaf-blower
of blinding blizzard hiding in the Siberian
cupboard's rattling snowplow. It grabs
my keys then races along the freeway
in a retro shoot 'um up Western then
shouts a loud bugaloo down Broadway
using lip-liner sirens. It's made of steel
tacks mixed in the nine inch nails and
rattles every ordinary tin roof scattering
fluffy pillow feathers. It has no smitten
eye piece but a starry sledge hammer
of acid rock amplifier plugged into my
tumbling dice. And when it really gets
angry it smashes my glasses of warm
milk against the four-poster bed tsunami
over and over again until I'm forced to
get up from the lazy-boy recliner and
stagger to the bathroom mirror where
a face stares back at me with eyes
that dangle down from their dark circled
sockets like earrings the shape of kiwi fruit.


Techniques In Cloud Grooming

Two days later the lawn mower dies and goes
to hell. But first, the bushes suffer severe razor
burn. The lawn sprinkler executes earth worms
before burying them in unmarked graves. The
fire hydrant is caught in an airport men's room
sending smoke signals to a toilet paper dispenser
in the next stall. The white picket fence writes
a letter to the President demanding a goldfish
pond and the driveway has cosmetic surgery for
its basset-hound eyes then declares bankruptcy
to keep from paying the non-insurance covered
bill. I spend the complete 48-hour period scribbling
alphabet soup in a large bowl of irrelevance...

brassy doorbell ringtone

gossip-prone trash cans

full-figure cat nap's meow...

only a streetlight sees the hand-writing on the
wall and begins the tedious job of cloud grooming,
using hand-made porch cement as it seriously
begins to question the probability that anyone will
believe any of the meticulously gathered statistical
data when it is aired on the local nightly news at six.


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, Frigg Magazine, Dandelion Magazine, (Canada), Stride Magazine (UK), Cha Asian Literary Journal, (Hong Kong), Kritya (India), Blueprint Review, (Germany) and Arabesques Review (Algeria). His forth chapbook was One Remedy Is Travel (Origami Condom, 2007). He edits the literary ezine Eye Socket Journal at: http://eyesocketjournal.blogspot.com. He lives in Portland, OR, where he works as a private tutor.







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