There are many fine poems in this newest issue of Joseph S. Salemi’s Trinacria by people such as the late Alfred Dorn, Claudia Gary, Jennifer Reeser, Richard O’Connell, Frederick Turner and others. Here are my two contributions, “BOHICA,” a sestina, and “Our Shelves and Selves,” a Monsourelle:
Here’s Lady Luck whipping ‘round the bend,
Checking us out, looking our bodies over,
Making sure she has good pickings here.
She tests her cattle prod, makes certain it
Is primed for use when the good time comes
Grinning beneath the sunny skies again.
Here she comes, aiming for us again
To find if now we’ll break instead of bend.
We seldom see her; nevertheless, she comes
Sneaking up behind us. When it’s over
We wonder how we could have overlooked it
Sparking in her grip! We didn’t hear
Her footsteps stealthily approaching here
Where we were caught flat-footed once again.
Suddenly, between our cheeks we felt it
And we could feel our creaking spine unbend,
Cracking like a bullwhip whistling over
The lightning of her cattle prod. She comes
Smiling like the temptress she becomes
Once she’s had her way with us. We hear
Her tender voice: “I’m sorry, Love, it’s over
Now. I couldn’t help myself again.
Won’t you forgive me, dear?” We watch her bend
Us to her will at will. We know that it
Is only a matter of indefinite
Time before she goes away and comes
Back in her red Ferrari ‘round the bend
Looking for us – and she’ll find us here
Tending our garden, offering again
Like a cat in heat yowling or purring over
Roses and dahlias till once more it’s over
And we straighten up. No doubting it --
She’ll find us in position once again
Whenever it is she chooses, and when she comes
She’ll find us patiently abiding here
Doing our calisthenics: a deep knee-bend
Or two, perhaps. Luck always overcomes
Any obstacle to stick it here
Where she will sweetly watch us bend again.
OUR SELVES AND SHELVES
A monsourelle, a form invented by Leslie Monsour
We put our minds in pens to pass the time,
And then, perhaps, we add a bit of rime
And meter here and there to complicate
Our effort and to add some ornament.
At first it was in no way our intent
For this sweet dallying to be our fate,
But pastimes do cause moments to elapse
Even if pursued between our naps
And daily duties of our normal state.
We come to find our eggs all in one basket,
And it may look a lot like someone's casket
Where readers of the works that we create
Come to mourn them lying in their covers.
It may be true that we deserve these lovers,
But, alas! they all have come too late,
And they must see our efforts come a-caper
Upon these wads of tearful, smeary paper.
We wish them well, but we are out-of-date --
We have discovered time and rime won't wait.
--- Lewis Turco