by Lisa Nickerson
Inspired by various authors
The Treachery of Images: A Soap Opera, Episode 1: Gunshot to the Peonies
Inspired by Ozenfant, Tzara, Artaud
The work of art is an artificial object
which permits the creator to place the spectator
in the state he wishes.
In preparation we present to you:
[proven to be aesthetically pleasing to the Western eye
"One does not always love beautiful things, odd isn't it?"
[Best to get punctuation out of the way]
Oh Rob Oh Rob
I'm exasperated I'm exasperated
perhaps a mass murder in Fernwood perhaps a mass murder in Fernwood
would cure this
would cure this
Laura says that Jerry's in the basement
composing their own Inkspots
Dig the mechanical clap (s)
Remember you can only be what I make you
whispers Mona from upstairs
fucking Magritte on a Le Corbusier chair
or maybe that isn't it at all
[Pollock didn't care about E. Quay Johns]
Dum dums would scatter the blood better
but the geometry would be all wrong
Imagine the firecracker umbrella
of these blown apart letters
in a melancholy drizzle
Yet another Mary, revisited and unfolding
Inspired by William Blake and Patti Smith
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
Beasts long ago
the chambered pit of her
with catgut weapons
& cosseted words --
'til the wind bled oxblood lipstick.
"Come to Jesus," they begged.
She'd seen the sunrise
between her knees
for centuries, slept late
and missed the call.
to practice auguries
birds in the circle
fast and slow [all except
the red one, whose dry beak
strains out cowboy songs,
in the aviary every 13th dawn];
sometimes, she'd stay up late
watch Them sleep,
dreams pricking at thick air
all sorghum and ale, drunk
At a sandy camp of infidels
full of Bedouins
she met an Atheist
from a certain place
she'd never been.
For a time,
they shook torpor from town,
ole Ezekiel in tow,
his whore stories legendary.
On the perimeter
of circular dust
in a pegged tight tent
they sometimes slept;
the Upanishads, with fluted pages
and Poetry books, strummed messages
dry bones and resurrections
rattled between them.
He smoked too much, coughed a bunch
and told her one night
when the wick went low:
"Immortality is not a gift, my sweet,
Immortality is an achievement."
Hail Mary's might not save us, but go on
kneel, burn your incense,
smear anointing oils -- spin
the prayer wheel, light the candle,
string the flags
roll the dice
walk but not so quick
the column of roses closes,
Birdsong, birdsong, we can't hold.
Inspired by the Merry Prankster, Kenneth Kesey, Neil Cassady
"Excise Me" he pleaded
being readied for the rack.
Old-but-still-New Mauberly barely intact
slogging away guts
in ten gallon neon day-glo buckets,
pink meat still clinging
the padded thud of bones
about love, love, love.
His disgust stems from this particular episode:
"Let the play be as it is, an imitation,
clearly defined but no more Me
Damn your arteries and skeletons!"
Ah but who even listens?
the director, hands raking
his sparse hair, veins
running through stainless steel;
not those stuck in black and white dreams
haunted by scenes at least one week old.
At least they is not I!
Even if both are a Lie.
Bring on the 21st Century Merry Pranksters!
Dolce stil novo!
Where is Owsley and Mountain Girl?
who rode the bus, tripped the wires.
Such a coterie willing to
over the Ravine of Impossible.
here's a less than suitable
electric kool-aid elixir
(I've got nothing slicker)
to help cure the virulent pox.
Click on the poem to enlarge it!
Lisa Nickerson often ignores her children's plea for food while she searches the ether for poems. Her most recent acceptance, Tom said Frank O'Hara would plant a poem in your head, will be included in Snow Monkey's 2008 Print Journal. Her poem for Ezra Pound, le jardin, won an Honorable Mention in the 2006 Florida Gwendolyn Brook's Poetry Association Contest and her poem, On giving up reading great poets because of Harold Bloom, was included in Revelry 2007. She lives in Massachusetts.