Saturday, October 25, 2008
Now how’s that for a generic title? Anyhoo, some folks have asked me why I haven’t posted my own poems on Robert Frost’s Banjo. My answers have been: there’s a link to my poetry page here, so people can get there if they choose; that I occasionally “sneak” links to an individual poem into a post when it seems to fit &/or suit my fancy; that a number of my better poems (better in my opinion at least) are fairly long—two pages & up; & that at least for a time, I just wanted to post poems by other folks.
Today, however, I’m relenting, & posting a short poem I wrote in October 1995 (I know this because I dated the poem). At the time I wrote this, the poem was more or less an after thought—it was “automatic writing”—I just started typing & let one thing lead to another. However, when I posted my poems online this spring, I found that I liked it, & a couple of other readers (one of whom I’m married to—& she’s an excellent writer—, & the other an accomplished poet in his own right, Pete Simonelli) made a point of telling me (without solicitation) that they like it, too. Generally speaking (& for what it’s worth), the years 1994-1996 were my most fruitful as far as poebiz goes.
Hope you like it. If you do, take the opportunity to look at some others when you have some spare time….
when the sky’s tumbling into a heap of frustrated
nightsticks the cops with their sea of cop-
ernicus eyes gawking luridly & gray at the
balloons in disarray
which are red & Israelite with memories of the
desert the silhouettes of Joshua trees the tawdry
Rte 66 gift shops lurching into view straight out of the pages
the hedge had a baltimore oriole nest hidden just out of the
king snake’s reach
there are only 16 things left in the world besides memory
green eyes a television set a pair of Reeboks a baseball glove a
I can’t remember what to say after we say good-bye
& the blinds are drawn &
the oven’s turned off the
streetlight on Grove St glaring into my eyes well
sleeping’s sort of irrelevant when everybody wants to smoke &
be in love with you & be somewhere dancing
John Hayes (1995)
© John Hayes 1995-2008
The pic is by Mike Nourse