Friday 5 May 2017

4 Poems by George Wallace


love is a junkyard
fallacy, like sunlight,
rain or laughter, it's
an unplanned thing
it just happens, one
day the genie in the
bottle wakes up &
takes a walk through
your beat old heart,
I mean when you least
expect it a tornado
wearing a violent
crown and a constant
smile roars like a vacuum
cleaner through your
auto wreck of a life,
picking up bits & pieces,
the twisted ruins of another
impossible american highway
disaster & presto, there you
have it, that's all it takes – ready
for your driving pleasure,
a brand new Cadillac


death is beautiful, death is a woman,
death blows kisses in the mystic dark.
the number of guys I kiss, said death,
doesn't matter. my bedsprings shook,
my head started spinning like an ocean
of beer. I’m taking you to a place you’ve
never been before said death, covering
my eyelids and mouth with worried kisses.


how easy to admire sunsets
migrating birds and the flower
vendor wreathed in yellow light --
this city is safe from a safe distance
you said, buying yourself a longstem
rose for the long ride home, and kissed
me under the canopy -- it was after midnight
the air was cold you had raindrops in your
hair the smoke of centuries wreathed us
both in a delicate envelope of rain –

you took my hand and smiled at the homeless man balancing the world on metal crutches at the bottom of the subway stairs

how easy it is, you said, to be a little kind
dropping a few coins into his paper cup


yes, you have spoken to me, as in a dream
i mean, like a flock of starlings speaks to the
wind, as the wind speaks the inevitability of
oceans to trees, as a grove of trees gives it
all back to the wind, patternweaver, dream-
speaker, poem of the endless air, endlessly
green, your voice also, sea hillock and wave,
bleating, mad as thistle, yet comforting and
green and green, your sweet dampness, the
mysterious vowels of your flight, coordinated
beyond measure, poured like black wine, your
metaphor of going and going and coming back,
dancing dark as a winter cloud of starlings --
over grass and tree, over the green sea of me


George Wallace is writer in residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace (2011-present), laureate of the Beat Poetry Festival, and author of 31 chapbooks of poetry, including Poppin' Johnny and Smashing Rock And Straight As Razors (Blue Light Press, '17). He is editor of Poetrybay and co-editor of Great Weather for Media, and tours nationally to read, lecture and present workshops, from his base of operations among the poets of New York City.

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