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Friday, July 1, 2011

Three Poems by Zachary Kluckman

Three Poems by Zachary Kluckman

Scrapbook for the Lonely

Start your canvas on photograph.
A black and white slide
of sea cliffs and birds on thin
electrical lines. One pair of shoes,
size six with the laces untied.

A sleeping woman with her hair
spilling loose across a table
where the wine bottle is corked
and the crackers, next to the cheese
are bundled in fancy tin.

Glue one cookie to the image
for texture. Excuse the dimensions,
raise a toast to her gloriously
red lips. Kiss her with a battery.
Cell phone, ion or lithium,
fully charged. Roll one ace bandage
around the canvas.
Her ankles will hurt from all the dancing.
Music moves her lips,

you can see it in that smile.
Embed one vinyl record
in the side of the frame
as if trying to jam a CD in
between the lovers whose kiss
stains the corner, below the Ford
Model T, the old man chewing
a licorice twist.

Time your walk to the saxophone
player, circumnavigate the whole,
canvas and frame, searching
for a moment out of place.


“…black bird singing in the dead of night,
                take these broken wings and learn to fly….” ~ Paul McCartney

Black bird
huddled behind angry throw pillows
littering the couch.
                Eyes hiding behind cigar smoke,
                his tongue as thick as a deck of wet cards.

Watching the closet
not for the confusion of pathways
the doorknobs present,
                but the dangerous hanger,
                slack shouldered and hungry.

Sectional mirrors
left over from discothèques
abuse the bed,
                light-bulbs hang their heads
                in the presence of stark naked windows.

Modest comfort,
fruit on the table. Milk heavy breasts
under her sweater,
                mother’s refrigerator sits
                heavy and slack-jawed with liquor.

featherless daughter considers the windows
peeling apples,
                the lock-blade cuts her thumb,
                releasing a small wind

trapped in her blood.

Taming Olympus

What if our bears were made out of flame,
    trained to swallow swords?

A curious circus of stars hanging portraits
    of open skies on their walls.

A time lapse break-dance of celestial
    ambiguous  bodies writhing

under a flesh panoply. The universal womb
    births embryonic clowns

with broken shoulders. Their burden of grief
    in unstrung finger bones

plucking feathers from Olympian crossbow bolts.
    A bacchanal of impious birds

counting the hours in a milky whorl
    of stones hiding in ravines. A galaxy

laid spinning among the anthills and twigs.
    What patina of self-aware

gravitational forces reminds the dreamer
    to consider the ponderous truth

of river rock, that dancing stones weigh less
    than stationary leaves?

Our calendar of fantasies fills the corners
    with red and gold hawks astride candles.

Atop the fragrant Ferris wheel of dawn
    The Sun sings cricket songs of swords

that scare the circus bears back into the closets
    where the gods hide behind coats

waving umbrellas furiously at one another
    balling their fists into dense little stars.

Author’s Bio: Zachary Kluckman is the Spoken Word Editor for Pedestal Magazine, Associate Editor for The Journal of Truth and Consequence, Director of the Albuquerque Slam Poet Laureate Program and a founding member of the Albuquerque Poetry Festival. His poetry appears in print and on the radio around the world. A Pushcart Prize nominee, his recent publications include The New York Quarterly, Memoir (and) and Cutthroat among others. When he is not untangling string cheese, Kluckman is hard at work on a new manuscript titled “S(he) Doesn’t Exist…”

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