Clark Coolidge – Three Poems

Clark Coolidge

Three Poems

The Road to Melville

Now   are these bogus holes?
what are those big brown bulbs doing?
subdominance is a habit by brash fiat
we’re taking our lumps   headlamps leading
is anybody suffering?   gatefold time
home chimes   the inner core of Garfield
give me crawlspace   the one that iced the marbles
Reddy Kilowatt got me but this isn’t
exactly waltzing weather   tasers on point
stand by for a perfect ugliness   sorry
about what?   subject the tango to rogue forces
vanilla fuel rods   got any extras?   add Prestone
then haul ugh   hire robots to taste
take a breath of fresh ghost   no hands
a perfect cancellation   give it a couple seconds
they call this water-board technique
get ready to pull deck duty worst conditions
did you see all those tongues?   popped up so quick
then stopped as if you don’t want to end up your life
as the motion guard on Jettison Island
watching whatever’s left turn tail


Playing the Combinations

My name was Sinatra till I heard the music
the horizon just above Bull Run
didn’t make the cut and I miss it
all touched with Trocadero tints
loose as a youth I peeked but hardly
heard the shadows didn’t catch them at all
the auto was so far off   nobody
a puff   just one   nearly lost the handle
Carlsbad on the paper collar just
bit and turned and never lasted much beyond
the first lightbulb   a low candlepower
the breath out of your sails   pottery fence
calling all lookers   snakes and snails
how could you tell?   it’s no cigar
waiting around the pool with density meters
time to wrap up I guess   a resin
sold as separate guitars   plates obscured
partially missing the mornings passing
streets low in mica just whistle
off some steam and brace yourself


Then a Horn Was Heard

Anyway it was heartfelt
the violence of those voices
the variable retrievers in their boxes
elephants in rhinestones with ankle chimes
we’ll be done by dawn   a quartet of
waters with roses hatching   no more binding
the best openings start up above
a slipping beyond all count at famous angles
the faucet to turn to?   a delicate lashing
you don’t say   it will not do
we were hurried perhaps that’s what but
would you like something to think?
you’ll anyhow enjoy the steam at the summit
it brings on many changes and you
must grip fast before you can grasp
anything at all of what is to be   stamp stamp
absolute craze making noise and with extensions
all of them downhill with socket wrench
cotton stocks and barrels of tusks
a rash adoption of the morning line


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