Rodney Koeneke – 2 Poems from “Rouge State”

Rodney Koeneke

2 Poems from “Rouge State”


Seaplanes crashing through windowpanes,
Moon passing river in paper cup.
The camels get restless—God whistles
Through the night like lewd boys
At the prison wrestling squad.

The Magi know their Atari—
Long drives from the bar to vacation bible school
Sear in the hotter mercies of the East
That leave one a-melt at landingstrips, a sherbet
Too orange for summer afternoons
Waiting to be licked up into tongues.


Here at the garden’s hot marges
  Events soften into fire ants.
We cock ideas at prairie dogs
To watch them smoke, then squeal

Pythagoreans cross their ‘t’s
  With dim narcissus fresh-picked from the clefs
Of that vast, inaudible cosmic symphony
The cow thieves once called home.

Zeus lets fly with the lightning rods
  His hot heart flaming like shish-kebabs
Off a Deer Park backyard grill.  Marshmellows
Crisp to swart mothers, I burn—pterodactyl
Dactyls sing over me with ease.

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