Monday, July 26, 2010

Two poems by Daniel Wilcox

Iraqi Temples

A masked gunman in black stands
On a smoky street corner in Baghdad.

Palms rear up, in the background,
With green branches like hands to Allah.

His left rubber sandal hangs ripped,
Red spots dribbled on the blue plastic;

One hooded jihadist—the signet of the guttered streets
Of 23 armies ruling the smudged smog of 6 million.

The Euphrates and Tigris rivers steel with sheen
Like the blades of historic scissors—Closing…

The threat of the cutting,
The bleeding of a people.

A Kalashnikov rifle fingered in his raised hands;
On the ground prone, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

Most of the streets lay as desert; it's Friday the day of worship,
God is Great! blares in triumph from the minarets;

A wretched Toyota, bombed, metal--wrenched and contorted
'Lies' in front of him, its bodies, idols of the fly;

It's Ramadan, the month of ultimate submission to Allah,
And the Mahdi Army fasts from sweets and melted cheese

And roams the streets, masked, hungering for infidels and Sunnis.
But far back down a scarred, trash-strewn alley

Behind the modern, sacred mosque, blindfolded bodies
Lay prone in endless prayer, red circles in their temples.


A Love Affair

Truth is not a woman to be propositioned
In the bold demands of a harsh creed,
Treated like an object to ever mind;
Not for heaven's sake is she to be
Reasoned into compromising positions
By the forced logic of mental constructs;

She is not to be cornered or ever boxed,
Prosed short to a Procrustean degree,
Delivered in some barren decree
On Sunday morning from the patriarchal
Sharp verbal edges of a ridged pulpit’s dock.
She is no submissive wife or doctrinal concubine.

Rather Truth is a foxy lady
Hidden ever so in virgin-minded wilderness,
Light playing through the translucent leaves,
Who deeply wishes you in poesied verse
To propose, that your every cherished moment
Be a sparked endless epoch

Of tender talk, bedded conversation
Inflamed with love's pure passion
From much earnest kind-ling
In the fire place of poetic symbol,
Not dried logic and brained doctrine
But inner Hebrewed 'knowing.'

To woo this lady Truth,
Worship and kiss her
Intimately with Frenched
Until the socks come off

And you two/too/to
Full of light in
The true

Editor's note: Iraqi Temples was previously published in The November 3rd Club (2007)

Author bio:

Daniel Wilcox earned his degree in Creative Writing from Cal State University, Long Beach. A former activist, teacher, and wanderer from Montana to the Middle East, he casts his lines out upon the world's turbulent waters and far shores in Counterexample Poetics, Moria, Word Riot, The Copperfield Review, Leaf Garden, The Bicycle Review, Full of Crow,, etc. His short story, "The Cheyenne Gift", set on an Indian Reservation, was published in Scattered Hearts Anthology in February 2010. "The Faces of Stone," based on his time in the Middle East, appeared in both The Danforth Review and Danse Macabre. Dark Energy, a book of his poetry, was published in 2009 by Diminuendo Press. Daniel lives with a second volume of poems Psalms, Yawps, and Howls, a speculative novel, The Feeling of the Earth, and his wife on the central coast of California--not in that order.

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