Sunday, May 9, 2010

Three poems by Kaz Sussman

Three poems
by Kaz Sussman

Raymo Is Not a Man Who Bunts
- for Raymo at 73

Let’s say
that they've made it through:
that they made it past the snares,
the deadfalls and the trip wires.
Let’s say that they got past
the motion detection spotlights
and the remote sensor’s siren.
Let’s say that they didn't stumble
into the staggered blackberry vines,
or knock over the rows of empty
beer bottles lining the path like
a phalanx of silicate Ming warriors.
Let’s say that the electronic
Halloween skeleton hidden in the bushes
near the floating severed head
with glowing eyes doesn't spook them.
Or that the rows of carpet tack strips
topping the high fence doesn't slice
up their hands as they claw over.
Let’s say that the rakes lying hidden
in the tall grass don't snap up
to slap them silly, or the ladders leaning
like drunken sailors against the wall
don't heave to as they sneak past.
Let’s say that they've figured out
that every colossal sensemilla bud
was tied to a trellis and hung
with chimes and thrift store bells.
Let’s say that they snuck past me
because I sleep like a drunken walrus,
And they've snuck past Ruby napping
in the burrow of Raymo’s broken van.
Let’s say that they've even gotten past Sonny
who is always on the lookout.
Let’s say that they've tiptoed
into the lush greenhouse
and even bagged up the goods.
They will still have to figure out
how to leave; how to get past Raymo,
his baseball bat, and the Babe Ruth glint
in the crease of his eyes.

### ### ###

Ninja Harvest

Assassins ring
my garden with deadly intent.
Japanese beetles nip on sweet scarlet
peppers while cut-worms slice
my starts with sharpened desire.
Bold weevils plan explicit evil
with a ganglia of night crawlers
as blind moles battle mini-gophers
for the tasty filigree of carrot roots.
Sow bugs ream the vacant eyes
of my reddening potatoes,
and slugs inch into my chard
with the grim determination
of evangelists.
Aphids copulate with teenage
abandon among my cutest tomatoes
as starlings devour the swollen
seed from their turned beds.
And bucks rise with does
over the fence to snap my baby
artichokes through their hearts.
Assassins ring
the belly of my garden
with their cold tools
forged of hunger.

### ### ###

Lessons from an Urban Childhood

taught me how to hunt:
how to hide
downwind and how to wait
quietly at the meadow’s edge.
Bambi taught me
how to listen for the horns
scraping against the brush
and the hooves leaving the moss;
how to watch
with my hammer cocked
and the eye of my charge
chambered and ready.
Bambi taught me
how to sight the scope
between my soul and my survival
and fire without remorse.
Bambi taught me
mercy and how to hone
my blade throat-sharp.
Bambi taught me how to hunt.
And although I know that wasn’t
the point of the story;
it worked for me.

Editor's note: photos of Raymo, his crop, & Homer (his baseball bat) are (available) at Kaz's blog: Kazonia.

Author bio:

Kaz Sussman is a carpenter by trade, an anarchist by nature, and an expatriate New Yorker by circumstance. He got into poetry (just like everyone else) because he knows that's where the big bucks are. He now lives in a home he built in Oregon from recycled rejection letters. His work as a writer and artist has seen some regional success, including the anthology From Here We Speak: an Anthology of Oregon Poetry. His work is upcoming in Dance Macabre and qarrtsiluni. His blog is: Kazonia.

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