Monday, 24 December 2012

3 Poems by Alan Botsford

a mamaist journey

The word I heard

The word I said

The word I felt

The word I saw
Was law.

The word I remembered
Lifted as a bird.

The word I sang
Gave wings.

The word I loved
Stood neither below nor above.

The word I entered
Tempered me

And took me everywhere
The sound of the temple bell went.


Nobody wants to go down
There. The pearl
Mirage all but
Faded from view.
Fathoms of an ocean muddied
With oil slicks, garbage, and soap
Detergent churning suds ashore
On waves of desire,
Tides of longing, as breath conspires to be held
Long enough for the blood
To go coursing, palpable pressure
In the veins felt, until…
Oxygen surges back into your moon-split lungs.

I Shot the Poet

Shot him in the foot
Now he can’t walk
Shot him in the chin
Now he can’t talk
Shot him in the groin
Now he can’t take
The ladies for a spin
Shot him in the shoulder
Now he can’t carry
The world around any longer
Shot him in the eye
Now he wears a patch
Shot him in the back
Now he’s slow to trust
Or become too attached
Shot him in the heart
Look at his dust
All got up and never,
No, never out-classed.


Alan Botsford is the author of mamaist: learning a new language (Minato No Hito, 2002), A Book of Shadows (Katydid Press, 2003), and Walt Whitman of Cosmic Folklore (Sage Hill Press, 2010), a hybrid of prose, dialogues and poetry. His work has appeared in several anthologies and in many print and online journals such as American Writing: A Magazine, BlazeVox, Confrontation Magazine, Cortland Review, Ekleksographia, Mickle Street Review, River Styx, and Yemassee Literary Journal, among others. He lives in Japan where he is a professor of American Literature at Kanto Gakuin University and serves as editor of Poetry Kanto, Japan’s longest-running bilingual poetry magazine. His website is:

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