Monday, January 1, 2007

Jargon, Inventing Better Wings

Is the fact that I'm a novice apparent? Would I be condemned to death by hanging if I were guilty of not really knowing when to call evening's sunlight "dusk"? Would the word "twilight" be more appropriate? Sometimes I wish I could draw a straight line through my thoughts and put a barb-wire fence around the naughty ones. I know that's not practical but neither is the fact that birds mate for life. So I've decided to settle for this brand-new blog as a way of expressing my feelings until a real love song comes along. Maybe by then, I'll have my very own jukebox and not have to worry about how many quarters I have in my hip pocket. Anyway, this blog will ambush just about any thought that moves and is especially designed for those remote lakes who enjoy reading poetry that has been deemed good enough for some editor's literary site but in most cases not worthy enough for payment. For the premiere posting though, I thought I'd use three poems that did bring in a little money. Here they are:

Driving Past My Ringtone

Yes, my shadow was there.

It was the one in the polka-dot tie and houndstooth steering
wheel. The sunglasses were its idea and were intended to be
a stand-in for the rear-view mirror until the right radio jingle
came along. But it never did. So I accept full responsibility for
any losses that may have once been a full wallet. And I also
admit that I barely noticed clouds in the stare or any unnatural
colors that seemed inconsistent in our line of gaze. But I have
to confess, neither one of us were ever aware of horns blazing
when we missed our favorite ringtone and plowed into the
store-front window in my congested bathroom.

Harry Houdini On Holiday

In the poem version about the united military boots
war breaks out in a virtual car chase allowing
vandals a bumper-sticker of green lights for miles
before the night is lit up by artillery fire.

Two sacred mounds of prickly hats are blindfolded
then forced to stand before the hangman's noose
where scat looks like a lavish Hollywood movie where
identity theft grows up to be urban blight's stage prop.

The blindfolds don't care. Neither does bird flu. It brings
a twig to the empty C-cup then bribes porcupine quills
to boycott any notice of amnesty, so long as those little
metal weights are still in buttons of window drapes.

Examples Of More "Beautiful Evidence"

All the money I lied about and the stomach pump was
secondhand but in this stanza the telepathic altitude

in a dog's dream says adieu to the diamonds on the
soles of its shoes and joint checking accounts for the

uncertainty of wheat from a shaft blown by the wind of
an approaching train that wears drawn-on eyebrows

while cartwheeling under the streetlights or maybe try
a new line of lipsticks stitched from a quilt of moths

keeping in mind the bubbly stuff called champagne
in another sonnet entirely.

These poems first appeared in print at: Dandelion Magazine
Volume 32 Number 2. Online at:
Copyright 2007 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.


Pat Paulk said...

Maurice I can certainly see why these were chosen. Fantastic poems!!

Roger Stevens said...

Well, hello there!

Great poems.

Got your email. Like your style.

And yes, I'd love to send something.

Off to bed now - it's late. Way too late.

Teamaster said...

Worthy debut, Maurice!

- David Herrle