Friday 4 February 2022

Five Superb Poems by Peter Magliocco


Phalanx of Wing


(After a line by Kathryn Smith)


If time crashes broken on sundial stone

a speckled fly old pallid skin seeks,

rain-dropped with summery dew

the morning sheds

from eyes of grounded poets:


then, finally to touch us, their stray

fingers of ripening windshear

like talons mired love becomes

blackening old light.

You'll fly then

over the desert's silvery sands

of lucky jackpot dollars

glistening starfish-like, far beneath


the motions of swift feet running there.

Dissolving moments dour

in heart-beating wings of starlings,


we'll alight in angelic air-pockets.

Just a distant fabric worn by infinity,

the sundial lazily exposes day's vanishing

for that avatar once divine


out of time, sunlight, clouds of flight

from fallen mankind's disbelief  

now an unwinged birdman,

forever mundane. 



Street Music Outside Taco Bell


Now without listening, maybe

in the neighbourhood comes my music 

for you. On the tarnished side

of my riddled psyche you implored

with fallen notes outside the Taco Bell

grayed by winter's coldness.

We must leave these suburban streets

the homeboys rant about in rap

with big mouths singing a spicy tongue.

Now without hearing you, in the wind

you hum the whistling of a banquet

cooked from that raw-hewn language

dogs will bark at, disquieting

our own once tuneful ambrosia.

Now without taste, the words

strewn bleeding over hopes of many

still form old lyrics on silent lips

the drunk nights take from us.

I want to write how monstrous

your hungry mouth makes me feel,

how the curvature of devoured bones

strikes my drum skin

for all deaf beauty



Broken Window in Winter


Does it sleep outside my window? 

Whenever I imagined winter-worn desires

melted by time:

The crenellated cat blown by withering currents

fostered in natures' unfathomable air


the dogs of pollution will sour

with dire sullying & pornographic sweat.

All we cull from leaking fountains,

damned by a blind cat's eye --

until I found you, white shadow


of my drowning (inside the hallowed

nexus of little gods nestled in

warm rooms of hedonistic childhood,

where I hid from visiting predators

demanding my presence --


a darkness visible?

I waited for you that one pristine hour

to slither in, reborn through the wall

of crystal-faced pane.

Animal as any superhero was, feline-quick


with what lurked outside peripheral being:

Shooting across the glistening lawn

of memory, your icy pale vision

smothered my body of innocence

only a whiskered hand still cages. 



The Alien Portrait


Do not hide your flesh

with the fabric binding you,

like a wilted leaf beneath a page

torn from your fallen bible.

The death of fake gods we worship

inside the museum of obsolete art


depicted the fall of humanity's ark

from a galaxy of burned-out colours.

Do not cover your eyes

from the pigment of lost desire

once inhabiting all celestial beauty

before a bolt of nature's wrath


vandalized our lunar dreams forever.

Take the brush from the spaceman,

whose skeletal hand decays

with a saintly relic on a ravaged briar

naked nuns still pray before,

their obscene tongues kissing


the last angel-astronaut's remains.

All sculpted by Michelangelo's spirit

free, at last, from sin in starry fastness:

an alien god's moribund face we paint

reflected anew now, in the light

of some strange heaven.



Living the Dream


When grieving for shadows in the vane

of a simpler lifetime, do you sometimes

see the wind push you in one direction?

Far from the present place, deeply

to an aura where the weather changes

its petrichor of rain weeping

on the dry dust of dead lusts,

until finding you:

the right job, the right babe,

the right wheels exulting asphalt

down the road where the destination 

becomes the journey of your U-turn

forever starting over

necking near Bob's Big Boy burger joint

in the endless movie dream crossroads

going nowhere in life: 

So don't look back, the highway takes us

to Lover's Lane in a streaming letterbox

where you're brushing long blonde hair

in fragrant city twilight,

smelling of toxic exhaust, funky crap

moldering into a wasteland of found art

my Chevy motor idles crankily in

while inhaling toxic carbon monoxide

we laughed overdosing

on waking pills



Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada. His latest poetry book is Particle Acceleration on Judgement Day from Impspired press.

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