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Last Gasp and a few other poems by Kurt Cline

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April 13, 2017
Kim D. Bailey,
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April 15, 2017

 

 

 

 

LAST GASP

Sun size of sky flames red
Over the little tour bus
Ghosts bubbling-up

Across the machinery
Of salt-flats biblical outside
Istanbul-not-Constantinople
Red rock raging torrents
Sluiced with silvery slivers

Blistering strata   iron & sand
Genesis I forget what command
Always already
Beginningless

Beginning beginning again
Memory a sun-glint
Carries me on radio-waves
To the edge of an invisible

Future that has to be rearranged
I may not always
Remember to pray
But I’ll always
Remember her name.

 

 

SATURN RETURN

Heavens the headwinds
Imprecations big as thunder
In an erasure of sky
It’s a madness locked inside
A heart-shaped locket. Event-

Horizon falling from tomorrow
Landing in a river of sortilege
Talking sideways in syncopation
Brine-soaked sports-page
The seagull with a cigar
They build them out of
Nightmares of amputated

Appendages. Deadman hits
Headlines doused in gasoline
(or rubbing alcohol) appears
In a department store window
Everything lit in a slow fizz
Splayed inside-out outside-in
Bursting through the ceiling

Depends on what you mean by
Emptiness mixed w/rust
From an old padlock those rose
Petals are razor-sharp metal ghosts
Hurled & whirled & worried on by
Rats running along the window-sill
Of a house of many bolted doors.

 

 

EARLY AUTUMN

the dead pass away

but the living persevere
there for the discerning
fireworks drizzling over
a marshy field
golden-orb
spider curlicues

he’s not long
in Labor Days
lawn neatly clipped
cornstalks decapitated—
somewhere knows
rearview mirror
rearing up behind
pickup truck scrunching

up the gravel drive

a man driving a back-hoe waves hi

woman in a sundress picking vegetables

on a little patch of property looks like paradise to me

 

not many summers
left, he thinks; even counting
them on one hand
would be optimistic
all he wanted to do
was breathe peace
out the sliding glass door
into that buzzing blur going by
of another summer passing

 

 

 

 

LIMN

Chill middle of ghost-month
Streets abloom with ectoplasm
He saw her tomorrow a vanishing-
Point drifting   shrinking into emptiness
Is thinking backwards through the mirror
Secret heartbeat of the glass bead game

ou’d better go to work black spider
|In the black light hanging
From the top of the mountain
As thinly as a veil words swirling
In the willow-wallow dreaming
Hemispheres colliding
Together in the after-drench
The practically any of which
Which is their utmost arising
& uttermost passing away
“Almost there!” the creatures say


Kurt Cline is Associate Professor of English and World Comparative Literature, National Taipei University of Technology. His full-length book of poetry, Voyage to the Sun, was published by Boston Poet Press in 2008. Cline has won awards for his work from the National Poetry Society of America and the Browning Society.  Five 2 One Magazine named him National Poetry Month Poet of the day, April 26, 2016.  Poems and stories have appeared in BlazeVOX; Danse Macabre; Mission at 10th; Wilderness House Literary Review; HuesoLoco; Apocrypha and Abstractions; Black Scat; and Clockwise Cat. Scholarly articles have appeared in Glimpse; Anthropology of Consciousness; Beatdom Literary Journal; and Comparative Civilizations and Cultures. Cline is also a performance artist, theatrical magician and singer-songwriter.  His album Alien Shoe was produced by 12 Studio in 2013.