Tuesday 21 February 2023

Three Prose Poems by Ivars Balkits


You Seeking I Seeking You


You, hat and tee, striped barber, parlour, bandstand. I, raven, coastal, ergot, drifting, green guitar. You, boneyards, candle, blown-glass, tire-tread, sandals. I, hesitant steps, perfect toenails, brown tape. You, break-and-entry, socks flying, statement of liberty. I, the thing that thrills, memory, convenience. You, scenes from East New York, orange beaver teeth. I, the rain’s raga, wagon of burdens, the undigested sacrifice. You, psychedelic flailing, unapplied bagel. I helpless cynic, a pool cue concealed in a pants leg.

You, sensible shoes, money as truth, carry-on luggage. I, the innocent shade, squeaking prey, Mao’s fish, confused, going at it again. You, the story in the body. I, the idea coming into being, skull faces that laugh, but mostly friendly skulls. You, redbud before the dogwood. I, father before the child. You, where the funnel narrows and down becomes up. I, the half-light difficult to locate. I, too often equal dogies naively bellowing. I, ready for freight, frightened in error. I—

I: Love (loading)...

Y: (Name required.)

I: Hello. Not you?

KIA, keel, or kill, that’s me. Russian sleeve, sky lid: you. I, the trend in copy, word pen, and fun lobby. You, sycamore, of course, armed and ready, uncontested.  You again, you puny rubble, cloud shadow. I, mending the tenses: Missouri, Ohio, Washington, Kansas, (all the rest stops) before we arrive at Igo, Ono, Begum. Your daily wheat-free snack crackers. My wreath of barbed wire hung on the end of a fence-pole. You, mid-May stubble, tree break, interrupt—I mean, hyphen failure.

I turn now to chance encounters with unintended insight.

Call me.



Alas ashes, alack lashes...

and over the serviced shorter-needles, crows and vultures together how anomalous that seemed, dead deer over the side polluting the river, I came to pioneer café, and blasting horns

applied a bagel of head hips signalling 2A light bulb, bare modesty, where two stalks leaned against another, borrowing from the steel wool yo-yo in your o.m. for the good candy

and what if

if happy big scalp melt like ice cream smile poked in the corners of the eye, snail of an eyebrow, overarching, or on with your work, imagining, and this being a down-looker…

grim guitar strum face, where two stalk heads, then lute nose and eyes loom, whose today was world war order, almost a jest, candle on the table, puerile from puberty, burnishing the mission;

dot.org with the kinder swings going. Boing…

letting the wiggler in the worm spark tickler. Boing, marketable, still that artificial twitch giving way as a dawn blasts together:

a corpse of a torso, bound in its flaky sort of torn, the child's scream of smear, the envelope of a bad radio growing up... unsettling obscenity:

bubbles, skulls, shadows of light things that pierce, where for no reason fear breaks apart with a breath, where two figures emerge and bleed nonetheless apparently anonymous

transitioning to fore-lights a-headed a-dirt, the eye ever wild as casually rattled by The Poet sprinting often to Ode, surrounding the O. abstractly as-if only the ears alive


Redux from Redux


Beginning with hamsa, the hand with thumb and another thumb, three standing fingers, all members. Rockets into the laundry line, pulls sheets to the wind, dispersing all those clean ideas.

Pulls apart the shredder, gumming up the dentist’s chair, treading on the printer. That and the thatch that dribbles overhead and down the algaed gable. Who wrote the hieroglyphic that spoke that?

Not just any geyser of doubt and blooming martial strategy. Neither could any egg have eyes for that. Unless the eyes were crossed by a brick of circumstance, and the head a kiln for wasteful thinking... ?



What needs more to be said? Stir the pot. Meat in the stew sinks to the bottom. That needs to be said, where a cabbage root lies bleeding even itching, where candelabras push aside shadowy profiles,

as if these might form a geographic vase:

Clearly mind wants the shutter closed, to waken the paper on the couch, lick the windows of the bus. Likewise the rock collapses in a wad. A stream is paved with tree reflections.

Most certainly, all to achieve a condition of pure reward, to enter a communal state of drums and marrow.

Ivars Balkits’ poems and prose have been most recently published by Synchronized Chaos, Otoliths, Seneca Review, *82, Vermilion Flash, Anvil Tongue Radio, Harpy Hybrid Review, Lotus Eater, Experiential-Experimental-Literature, Fixator Press, Courtship of the Winds, Abstract Elephant, Fiction International, Fleas on the Dog, LitroNY, and cahoodaloodaling. He is a recipient of two Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, for poetry in 1999 and creative nonfiction in 2014. 





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