Tuesday 5 May 2020

2 Poems by Douglas Cole

Festive Cruise Ships to Far Star Resorts

Portholes shimmer like jewels in the mist,

ships like souls plunging into the orange sun.

In Berkeley, I wandered magical jungle hills,

streets fact-checking themselves,

verandas overlooking the groves—

I put the pipe to her lips.

Her friends were like handmaids all night

trying to talk her back down. The brother was later

cured of cancer by miracle. The jasmine dream,

silver creeks flowing through eucalyptus groves,

squirrels climbing up to my knee and that girl

following me around with her camera.

The romance of the university: the best,

smartest professors, the brightest students—

a village of the excellent! But I didn’t have the grades

or the money. Look, sails are filling with wind,

mountains are wandering around, and the cold blue

water is coming back into the sound.

Soul Parts

all my life I’ve been holding my breath

five minutes boy five minutes of silence

and then we’ll let you go

death is a get-out-of-jail-free card

my mind stumbles through your syntax

too much un and re

I am between the lines and the intermissions

a pause in the grueling routine


Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry and a novella. His work has appeared in several anthologies as well as The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Louisiana Literature and Slipstream. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry. He lives and teaches in Seattle. His website is douglastcole.com.

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