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Sample Poems by Paul Lubenkov


The Journey

The footprints behind me are not
mine not the footprints I dragged
far from the distance of dark seas
darker skies a place where
whatever is lost is home not
following now not in this place
this country with flags describing the sun
a sun like nothing I can remember
not like this in another sky
a different wind with its own banners
and stars falling from black fields
stars that could almost be lost friends
falling with silence but not this silence
always arriving with nowhere to go.


 
Home Of The Brave


Just look at these freaks theyíre nowhere and everywhere half
in love with their great hunger and stuffing themselves with
succulent meals of soft white food but what do they care they
donít care about towers of silence the great perishing trees how
even on the clearest days something is always blurring the sky
why they donít know grunt from gravy these freaks these weirdos
and even though once and with rubber gloves I approached their warm
temple of sleep to amaze them by crying, Lo! Practitioners of Peace,
Arise! but I was nothing to them if not something escaped from
The Ed Sullivan Show raving around with my own banner these slick
scars on review which they were unable to see so well or appreciate
pain betrayed as they are by an obvious absence of clear direction
within their eyes the blue spilling out into rivers seas skies whatever
remains to accept it and so cannot see what the moon is about its
gross flatulence smearing across the recently featureless land in thick
layers like mayonnaise over which and in disgust the last butterfly
screams its final scream and barbarous tongues grow teeth to say
the clarion calls to violence rise are rising have risen at last. Listen:



Observations In Lieu Of An Elegy


Scooter Monzingo is dead.
The weather is crisp, the streets
Are exceptionally clean.
His wife is amazed at how
Natural he looks, the way
His fingers gracefully mesh.

It is six oíclock. In Rome,
In a cheap villa, a young
American housewife is
Seducing a gigolo.
She insists his name is Frank.
What an ugly word! Franck thinks.

It is six oíclock. Demure
Millie Hobbes is pawning her
Gramophone. She has plans, big
Plans. Someday her neighbors will
See her and say, Who would have
Thought it? She can hardly wait.

It is six oíclock. Rainstorms
Lash the coast of Uruguay.
In a crowded marketplace,
A slow-eyed senorita
Has begun to menstruate
For the first time. People stare.

If he were alive today,
Scooter Monzingo would say
4,800 words,
Move 700 muscles,
Eat over 3 pounds of food,
And breathe. Which is average.



Discovered In The Shithouse


Written on the wall that each man reads,
Etched deeper than the darkest dreams
With those bodies like erector sets
Trapped forever in their awkward act,
Needing no number, verb, or rhyme,
No artistís sketch or clever phrase,
My name sprawls across the wall,
Immortalized in this shithouse stall.

Some men might laugh, wondering why,
Or consider adding a word of wit,
But you learn to live with things like that.
Itís like The Phantom Shitter wrote:
The price of fame is always high,
But life is more than reasonís peanut.



The Male Chauvinistís Rebuttal


You beast ! she cried and charged out
The door throwing not spears but
Weird allusions to missing
Keys, cages, caves, and the late
Great American asshole.
Well, what did she expect?
Those love poems she called hors díoeuvres
Just werenít enough. Itís like
The old prospector said. You
Give a man a meal and he eats,
But only a fool marries
His meal. And it works both ways.
When her teeth were hooves gashing
Their tracks in my flesh did I
Ever complain about her
Primitive tendencies? No,
A man must remain a man.
So what if Buffalo Bill
Is defunct. His legacy lives,
And I could care less about
The great buffalo slaughters.
Those homogenized misfits
Tucked safely away in zoos
Seem not to be legends but
Discarded trophies whose stunned
Eyes keep asking, What am I
Doing here? She got the point.