klipschutz (pen name of Kurt Lipschutz) is the author of several books of poetry, including This Drawn & Quartered Moon (Anvil Press, 2013) and The Erection of Scaffolding for the Re-Painting of Heaven by the Lowest Bidder (1985, o.p.). A Visit to the Ranch & other poems, his collection of San Francisco and Pacific Northwest poems, was issued by Last Word Press in October 2015. He also co-edits the collectible quarterly Four by Two, and writes songs with recording artist Chuck Prophet.
DRINKING RED WINE IN BED IN THE DARK
“My signature poem is anonymous.” – Anon.
The glow of the television
lights her form beneath the sheets,
until in one quick flash the screen goes blank.
Still the goblet finds my mouth.
I worry about line breaks,
the fussy ones, the arbitrary,
the ones the world is set right by.
Proceed with caution signs shadow me.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and like that,
chances are the alarm will sound
and the dollar will advance against the pound
and both my feet will leave the concrete ground
at different times. O sleeping form, this line’s for you.
I am not a ghost, Nixon said. Then he said, Boo!
And woke me with a start. Is this all a dream too?
Give me liberty or help me find my shoe.
TO A VANISHED COMPATRIOT
Where art thou, solitary Michael Kerry?
Shanghaied on a binge,
and washed up in Marin?
Or shipwrecked in the Sinai
astride a dromedary—
(No one has a clue to where you’ve been)
Your name’s stopped coming up:
no any word?
no haven’t heard
no did he ever get
Que pasa amigo? Is someone reading this you? And if so. . .
Does he habla like a native in fluent Español?
breakfast at two on tea and a roll?
comb the dark alleys and stumble and fall?
What’s the progresso on yer novella, Miguel?
Y donde es my 15 Washingtons?
Is your two-finger typer in hock?
Woman? Women? A lass or a lack?
Who’ll be trained on tonight your killer smile?
those impeccable manners? that guilt-wracked guile?
When your wary eyes unclose, what will they see?
(Anything but orderlies, I pray, in my way)
Tell it straight, O rolling stone—
Is himself in Anaheim, holed up at his mother’s?
WHERE IN DEATH’S MIDDLE NAME ARE YOU
FORREST MARS, SR.
“If it isn’t a Hershey, it’s one
of his. M&M’s too, both kinds.”
A candy man’s
born into chocolate
Bought out his father
was hell on
His sweet nickel dreams
sent us straight
to the dentist
On the Forbes list
to the low thirties
Pulling in proceeds
He issued no shares
We had no free will
we were sheep
we were clay