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Shafer & John – 2 Poems

Shafer & John
2 Poems

Emotiolution

Describe to me, please, the way that

Gorillas make music.

Describe to me the way they play

“Nights without Love,” on the piano.


Gorillas make music.

The proof is in the secrets of

“Nights without Love,” on the piano.

If you’re deaf to the forest, then


The proof is in the secrets of

The sound a monkey makes with his throat.

If you’re deaf to the forest, then

You create instruments of leather and


The sound a monkey makes with his throat.

Describe to me, please, the way that

You create instruments of leather and

Describe to me the way they play.



Six Long Stories

In bed tonight your toss describes the pea you never see but feel,

the sweat you make will start to shine, tomorrow there will be a pearl.


The fortune cookie said, “In a forest, you are never lost,”

but in every loom, in every candy-house, in every shoe lurks peril.


The old carpenter takes a long time descending stairs, when he speaks

the basement timbers shiver, the grubs in the floor roll up like pearls.


I thought the little mouse trusted me, turns out she was terrified;

she shivered in the bottom of my pocket, teeth of salt, eyes of pearl.


Through the grove, beneath the bridge, where the still waters make their mist,

I’ll sit and wait for trollish, gnomish, pixyish, dwarfish, gruntish perils.


Home isn’t a place, it’s whatever happens at the end of the story:

In sleep I am the word childhood, tucked up in a tongue like a pearl.

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