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COCONUTS AND CROWS
A clairvoyant had declared,
Tarot cards spread across a peacock tail embroidered
On a sackcloth tablecloth,
That she would come, as promised,
Of coconuts and crows.
He waited long
Among coconuts and crows,
She did not come.
The bartender, a college boy
Working during vacation, said
"Look at that fine yacht.
He is on way to Havana.
This elder, rich old man,
Named his yacht 'Susanna.'"
The man, sitting on the lean
Of a coconut, crows cawing,
Looked with his binoculars at the yacht.
He saw her who promised to meet him
At coconuts and crows
Naked on the yacht deck.
She was surrounded by two Dalmatian dogs.
SUNDAY IN THE PARK
Every Sunday on asphalt road
Through the park a tall man rides a tall monocycle.
He wears a stovepipe hat
Pedals while his hand strums
A sad tune, "My beloved Marianna
Spit on me and married a lobster fisherman
From Maine," on his guitar.
The old man is forlorn.
His only friend who sits
On a bench and applauds
Is named Marianna and is a mirage.
Only three came to his
Last tent performance
When made up as Lincoln
Read the Gettysburg Address.
Of the family that was his audience,
The teenage son asked
"Who was that guy
Who gave the real Gettysburg Address?"
The father answered, "I don't know."
The mother answered, "James Madison."
That was the old monocycle rider's
Last impersonation of Abe Lincoln.
He was crowded off the asphalt road
By twenty joggers all wearing black,
All wore black, gold trim, football helmets.
All were shouting robustly in union
"Our team is number one,"
Although the school the joggers
Were from did not have a team,
And not one jogger had ever played football.
TWO COLLEGE CLASSMATES MEET IN BOLOGNA.
THEY ATTENDED COLLEGE LONG AGO IN AMERICA,
LONG BEFORE THE WORD "COGNITIVE"
HAD REPLACED "BEHAVIORAL."
"Manet's Olympia had brought a new pillow. It is
Embroidered with a snapping turtle face, copied
From the actual face of the snapping face
As the snapping turtle walking across a bamboo bridge.
It has become the chief conversation piece
When cognac from the Crimea is drunk.
Olympia had become anti-colonist and retired
Her maid on a pension. The maid regrets,
For she can no longer spend Spring
At Villa d'Este at Lake Como holding
The bathrobe of Olympia while Olympia
Swims naked in the narrow, shallow pool.
Are you still worshipping a scrap of tinsel paper
Torn from an original tinsel lump that no one
Has ever seen and yet people have been tortured
With instruments that can be seen in the museum
In the city with standing towers, San Gimignano
For not believing in existence of this unseen lump of tinsel that
Wraps an all-powerful mystic mist. Don't worry,
If you are becoming an apostate for it has
Been observed so much and so often it is now axiomatic
That societies are losing their beliefs and becoming skeptics.
We have ample evidence when a society loses
Its religious beliefs, no matter what they are, it becomes more humane,
Even homicide and other crimes decline."
The listener never said a word, as he walked
With this man he disdained when they were in college together
Toward the Venus in the Piazza that time and weather
Had wrapped her while Body in an orange cape.
PARALLEL LINES, THE PAST BELIEFS
AND THE PRESENT ACTUALITY, DISAPPEAR
INTO THE EXTENSION OF TIME AND ITS CARESSES
OR THE BLOWS OF ITS FISTS
It was too fantastic, too desirable, its-looked-at
Appearance too exalting to be verified. Doylon
Deosso was beginning to doubt the existence
Of the mystical toad he had photographed
Between the large overground twisted ancient oak roots.
He stared at the toad's body of pale yellows, bright
Turquoise, patina green, olive, emerald green,
And the cerulean blue eyes printed on photograph paper.
Then Carol's voice came in green like Dante's Beatrice
In a chariot of spices and quivers. On his thoughts
Her Voice dropped like a raindrop. And its crystal
Spattered into amoeba-shaped puddles that moistened
His inner neural network. The voice was sounds
That had lost their history and their historical meaning,
And had become absolute and thus non-existent.
The voice had lost the meaning that history had given
When history was a moment in time.
The voice was no longer had the tangibility
And resonance it had when a radical singularity
Of a concrete particular temporal event, but now
That it had the unreality of an absolute, the unreality
Of a universal, it now seemed more real than when real.
Duane Locke, Tampa
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