Thursday, September 16, 2010

Honor Among Witches

Here are two poems from late August I have been remiss at posting:

Restoring Honor and Yellow Pinstripes

(for a rodeo clown)

Some weekends restore more honor than others.

Languorous nickel cones, for example,
Plump eggplant A’s and T’s sighing searchlight pinstripes
in Fisher-Price choo choo rows
before McAllister pocket windows
flex valor in buckets
but won’t turn over for curse or blessing.

Or the ’57 Chevys overflowing from Rosie’s
Honorable keepers of keys left snoring in the lot
as an officer searches catacombs for an off-switch to alarms.
Restoration at a price, always a price.

If I still owned a timing light,
If I still cared for honor
Michigan’s loveliest pinstriper
could accessorize medal upon medal upon medal.

But I misplaced the dueling pistol,
sold off the rapier,
told the half-brothers that sisters aren’t strangled
for infidelities on my watch.
Honor leaves silvery tastes of beef tongue, dust motes
I wait instead for the instrumental moment.

Loring Wirbel
Aug. 30, 2010


In a Land of No Witches

Goodwill trembles in the thistle-choked ditch
Fruit fly proboscis in each tear duct
Afraid to look at the aid administrator declaring
“Witchcraft has been banished since Lugard
bullwhipped the Niger.”

Emilohi weeps behind a battered door
Clothes with buttons
dictate the separation of cups – Six of Cups? –
terror of spells, child abuse

Abby asks if the expansion of scientific inquiry drove miracles away
I tell her Lives of the Saints is a bullshit Bunyan tale
Goodwill begs there be no witches

The clinical saints march in cadence,
Forbidding clitorodectomal horrors here, there
eye of a newt, a purple flurp
a large, one-eyed, no-nosed nothing
The clerical saints panic, torn between exorcisms of choice
and a temporal alliance with the ancient ones,
living outside the law of Newton
Pagan priest, pederast saint, both in the last band
Of armed ‘Ndrangheta
Hawking hollers, “Come on out with your hands up!”

And as our rationalist gang plays Whack-A-Mole
We miss the hairline cracks seeping spells
Even still, even still
Goodwill trembles.

Loring Wirbel
August 27, 2010

No comments: