Thursday 3 November 2022

Five Poems by Richard Weaver


Callahan’s Irish Social Club

I’m off to play with my dog.
We’re going to the cemetery.

We go every day.
She’d chase the sun if I’d let her.

If she could chew the wind she would.

I swear, anyone can chase tail. But only a dog
can find happiness in a circle.

I wonder what it is about the cemetery
makes her want to run so much?

It’s not like we have somebody buried there.

Reptilian brain grammar

Is a lizard’s eye
more distant,
more determined
than the end of this
sentence? Would
its missing tail
mind for the moment,
posing as a comma?


Front Porch

When the front porch swing
sang against the wind in the shade,
we pushed its music higher and higher
towards the tongue-and-groove
pine ceiling, and higher still,
daring the eyelets to keep us
from crashing through
the ivied latticework behind
where yellow jackets nested
in green shaded safety.
Back and forth our legs pushed,
though the chain links protested
our collective light weight.  
We pushed as high as we dared,
my brothers and I, and then beyond
in the same swing where our grandparents
had courted.  We dreamt—
the green swing flew without us,
its metallic song rubbing against our ears.  
We pushed against its ageless light.
We pushed until the sky no longer
received our thin shadows.


A Tortoiseshell rabbit sits

in a homemade kitchen cage, curious about the daily smells:
bacon grease kept in an electric skillet until it overflows,
and the less interesting smells of canned vegetables or things
thawed and dumped without ceremony or seasoning into boiling
water, all causing its nose to hop. They were constants at least,
sometimes mildly variable, but unchewable, like the cage wire
but not its wood frame. Sweetie Pie the rabbit waits each day
for freedom time, a chance to roam the house, where walls
close around. She always hides under the far left end of the living
room couch, where it waits for a weight above to announce
her favourite has arrived. Where the linoleum floor feels good
against its teeth and the deep dark sound of springs descending
beckon from above. And scamper out she does from the muted
dark, and leap upward onto the lap of the Other who always sits
closest to the outside light, the door where the other world waits,
sometimes green, moist. Hop it would when happy around the
two-legged smaller others, but prefers being closer to the earth
listening to light emitting sounds as it waits for the springs to sound
above. This other who always tastes of salt and rubs its ears in amazing
ways. Later, when light had flared and died, it wakes to noises around
its hutch, it smells a darkness brewing, a deep, rich flavored one
it welcomes, knowing that soon it would be free and a warm dish
of brownish water would be its alone. Coffee. Almost as good as the
cold green icy mixture given each night, a small bowl of pistachio
nut ice cream. An earthly delight every rabbit surely dreams of.


A Cat sneezed at a large animal clinic

and immediately became a leper. Then a camel eructated its organs and was blessedly resurrected as a pillar of kosher salt and tri-colored peppers. When a dog tweeted, it was transmogrified into an obscene lowku: prayer. A goose replied cryptically in an online only literary magazine. A disgruntled maggot took to Facebook and savaged the goose who had mocked the tweeting dog who’d responded to the camel’s projectile vomit when it heard a rumor of a cat’s all-covering sneesynge. Soon Sprinklr dribbled, incontinent as a cloud with a weak bladder, and Squido inked out, Dudu responded in Mandarin Esperanto, and Kaboodle kicked its kit across the Net before Pinterest punted an avalanche of imagery, drowning servers on 5 continents, excluding Australia & Antarctica. Internet war was on. Global warming Climate change End times be damned.

Richard Weaver - Post-Covid, the author has returned as the writer-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub. Other recent pubs: conjunctions, Louisville Review, Southern Quarterly, Free State Review, Hollins Critic, Little Patuxent Review, Loch Raven Review, The Avenue, & New Orleans Review.

He’s the author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press, 1992), and wrote the libretto for a symphony, Of Sea and Stars (2005). Recently, his 175th prose poem was published. He was a finalist in the 2019 Dogwood Literary Prize in Poetry.

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