POETRY PAGE SIX
COLUMN FORTY-FIVE, MAY 1, 1999
(Copyright © 1999 Al Aronowitz)
[These poems, by Peter Chelnik, are from his book, Wildflower Serenade, the cover of which is pictured above.]
Express yourself in funky
prophetic ramble, Bleeker Street
night coffee jags, Adirondack
rod and reel cool mountain
stream. Fire words across
western Kansas prairie,
straight shot, ninth inning home run.
Express yourself with milk bucket
incantations, bold exits through wooden
university doors, brewers yeast,
april delight bologna sandwich,
The Lord's Prayer in wilderness
Express yourself with magnolia
serenade, Handshake firm like
Jefferson City square deal.
Lush silver voice like green
Tennessee hallow -- a sewn button
on thrift shop work shirt.
Fight rude brain damage hipster
bartender, empty legal pads,
Fight lock jaw apocalypse suicide
doom, crack house junkie anger.
Express yourself with converse high top
sneakers, 1969 purple cape,
monthly Coors Light in long
neck bottle. Read lilac Whitman,
bearded saint Allen Ginsberg
chop dead branches from Woodstock
poplar, wait for crimson
poetic rebirth. Cheer on winless
home team with Indiana
hoots, backseat Chevrolet
caress. Bring silk racket boys
mystic poems, San Francisco
Express yourself with soothsayer
beatnik howl, oracle's corn row
insight, kitchen table
revelations -- take on lunch
bucket American dialects,
Bensonhurst broad r cadence,
chaparral cowboy twang.
Express yourself like passion
of Lake George curio shop,
free fall skydiver --
My bound books in NYU library.
Express yourself with peach
cobbler memory, July fourth
sparkler gleam, Eureka Springs
Hillbilly thick frozen yogurt
Express yourself with Huck Finn
fierce outlaw quest, late evening riff of
IBM typewriter, generation x
honey bee skateboard mambo.
Express garden earth metaphors,
excellence of Mobil gas jockey teenager --
tap shoe strut on wood
varnish Broadway rehearsal room,
Woodlawn Irish breakfast.
Fight police blotter tangerine
demon's narrow pain
Desolation of St. Johnsbury prison letters,
Emotional barb wire combine knots,
Ivy vine red brick schoolhouse
Express yourself in white sand
Kaleidoscope dream. Ray's highway
sorcery, Miles Davis bebop
trumpet, Fourth grader's Abraham Lincoln honesty --
A sabbath rabbi, Torah scroll
in radiant hands, passover
matzah brie off hot griddle.
Express yourself like divine
poet madman, SoHo hopscotch
painter -- Dayton, Ohio rainstorm --
rural Black eye susan meadow
Bridgit's mockingbird hands,
red cheek angel on mountain
trail ascent. ##
* * *
BLUEBERRY OLD LADY
My old lady a swirl
of hot minestrone soup, brown bread
Pert breasts, no brassiere
needed. A Cheshire smile.
Plato and Germaine Greer
in back room cedar library,
a leather wrist band.
I wait for old lady
through maelstrom and
draft beer on barstool,
click of IBM.
A dream quest,
my old lady brings on hot blueberry
muffins, wood for iron stove,
a looseleaf full of fire poems.
We'll forget the hard years
on gravel parking lots
cocaine lines in porcelain bathrooms,
sex parties before HIV.
Sweetheart stir my veggie stew
embrace my hyacinth passions. ##
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