Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Three Poems by Richard Yates

Three poems
by Richard Yates


My dashboard is furry with dust
flecked with little petrified lakes
of coffee-mud

Windshield is cracked

Can barely see the gauges
through the layers of sediment
lined with finger tracks
where I've half-heartedly
pushed the grime around

Because I'm a god-damned commuter

Living in a small town
where my education
and disposition
render me unemployable

A skeleton hangs
from the passanger side sun visor

Mardi-Gras beads bleached
from a vibrant green and gold
to a uniform cloudy silver
props from some black and chrome film
a sci-fi oldie
swing with each turn

The floors are buried
in empty pop cans
and greasy fast food bags

And the odometer
reads 80,000 miles
and counting



I can't join the other movements
Them Futurists, Beats, Bohos
Them "ists" of all sorts
Factory Stars, Fluxurs, and Fugs
Or them Da-da-das

Enrollment's closed
Can't pay the entry fee
Or monthly dues
All the members are dead
Or they just don't like me

I'll start my own movement
A movement of one
A single atom careening through space
Colliding and crashing
Pinballing off good people and bad
Knocking over trash cans
And breaking windows in glass houses

Fusing, fizzhing
Exploding in light and energy released

I am the atom with the plus spin and electrons to spare
The isotope with the densest nucleus
A half-life of a million years
And the shelf-life of the quickest eye-lash flick

My path is unpredictable
My orbit constantly expanding
And decaying

And my feet shuffle to the beat-pulse
Of my own universal clique



I might wear a dracula cape
to the wedding
And make certain I leave the reception
before dawn

Author bio:

Richard F. Yates is a poet, short story author, and zine maker living in southern Washington state, USA. He is married and has two daughters (who will both be taller than him soon, but that's probably for the best.) His work has appeared in such places as: Mad Swirl, The Salmon Creek Journal, Words-Myth, Vision? Nary! Magazine, Breadcrumb Scabs, Counterexample Poetics, Shoots and Vines, The Daedalus Review, Word Riot and others.

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