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Poetry

The impossibility of being me

is that I keep changing my mind

about what it is to be me

as I’m fretting about wasting time

 

on a drab slate morning

when clouds want to rain,

yet hold back from raining,

as if release itself were a pain

 

rather than an act of creation

that showers earth and mind

with blue flowers of fruition

blooming well-ahead of time

 

in the rattling narrative

of ordinary dishes and pans.

Husbandry I daily give,

despite any creative plans.


Hurrah, we are going to War in Space

to fight aliens on distant planets:

Klingons, Dark Side Plutonians, whoever

exits on interplanetary spoil,

since we own every atom in the world

and Mister T has given his fiat

in the same way the Creator gave us

the universe to be the ruler of,

just as we men rule women and peons

who labor in our vineyards with visas

approved by the highest algorithms

serving our super computer frames.

ALL space aliens will be deported

To VANA PENAL PLANETS LTD.


The Kalahari Desert is far from Millbrook, far from Dutchess County, NY,

but not as far as you might think. The canons governing our paintings

are thin, thin and dry. Whose paintings are gaudy? Certainly not ours!

 

Gaudy is not even askable, John. We joylessly assimilate the sun,

the many hundreds of kilometers of super-arid gravel plains and dunes,

while other painters in Namibia paint karoo ecoregions...green succulents,

 

monkey beetles, and melittid bees, and the densely foggy shoreline

where the Atlantic's cold waters meet Africa's hot climate. Other painters

paint with violet, orange, yellow, green; their tribal villages have names.

 

Other painters hint at shafts of sapphire, the weightlessness of deep water

beyond the shore; but not us, John. No, we sketch in black pencil

and charcoal in recycled notebooks...two seriously sunburnt imbeciles.

 

Sure, we dream of whalesongs. Sure, we dream of rainforest bird calls.

Doesn't everybody? But we only dream, don't we?

And now one of us has died -- suddenly died -- and I am troubled more

 

by insomnia than usual; I act on the belief I need to paint, need to live,

living by no less, no more, than by stubbornness. What I need to do

is stretch out, and discharge myself of myself; look for green from afar.


My grandfather Joe grew tomatoes

nearly the size of melons.

I recall vividly at four

sneaking out of his house

on a warm  July Sunday morning

into a labyrinth of dewy entanglement.

 

The rebuke for picking a tomato

was disappointing. I was

banished from the dense garden

where trellises hefted peas,

beans, and grapes up to the roofline

of the shanty single car garage.

 

Joe was patient, methodical,

virtues that did not grow in me,

as I wished to grow skyward

with a different strain of seed

that found harvest in allegory,

metaphor, and entangled poetry.


Thunder quakes its bluff—

or so I hope and purposely laugh—

as cats skittle under the couch

and children shiver with blear eyes,

puzzlement at august mystery

while lightning flashes

its zigzagging sword

and trees sway, tremble.

 

My laughter is to shock

children out of shock,

bestow confidence

of authorial fatherhood

that laughs at fate,

even when laughter is too late.


by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Wed Jan 18th, 2017

In the beginning was the word,

but when was the sentence?

The world may be 50 million years old

as even baboons have the word,

yet when was grammar invented?...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Sat Jan 14th, 2017

Sleet and slush are fine manifestations

of silvered water—aqueous droplets

falling from high like mana for rivers,

hand-dug wells, reservoirs, and mountain streams.

The squishy, peculiar consistency

of sleet or...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Thu Dec 29th, 2016

Cinema, religion, and poetry

are all a form of fiction like novels,

painter's portraits, music, philosophy.

Well-written history alone travels

with a solid factual foundation:

collected, analyzed, categorized.

Yet historical interpretation...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Sun Dec 18th, 2016

For Christmas, let us put aside grudges,

gripes, and obsession—or piquant outrage

at this or that bauble blinking in eye.

Fellowship breathes at the heart of Christmas

when love is...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Tue Dec 13th, 2016

            Snowflakes dither in ambivalent air,

            blowing here and there, every-which-way, float-

            ing like paper and melting on eyelids,

            nestling on my...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Mon Nov 28th, 2016

Gazing at blackbird on deck-side table

during cold November, tree-stripped drizzle

when dark clouds lower with dour bluster,

I like to warm my feet under cover

as I recollect childhood...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Tue Nov 22nd, 2016

Orange-red oak leaf spiraling to earth

through gray-blue air in silent slow motion

signals the firm arrival of autumn,

a time to offer fervent thanksgiving

for the abundance of fruitful...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Tue Nov 15th, 2016

When the moon is full and nearest to earth, 

I peer out my door, listening to naught: 

Silence so stark, nude, a startling stillness 

...

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