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Louise Jul 2023
I should've known from the first ride,
that I would be falling fast.
I should've felt it from my first fall,
that your show must go on.
I should've known from the first rodeo,
that should've been the last.
I should've felt it from my first trot,
that I'm better off riding alone.

I should've known you couldn't choke the horn,
but you were all but a yellow-belly.
I should've watched how you 'let her rip',
yet a horse is all of my riches.
I should've believed you don't want no cahoot,
but I rode for you 'til dawn while hungry.
I should've watched you ride to the sunrise,
yet I am left chasing sunsets.

But I am still the greatest,
with or without a lily liver cahoot.
I am the best, from east to west,
a taste from my lips would prove it's true.
I am the lone star that shines the brightest,
with or without your hat on, you'll be blinded.
I am all of the gold that they all rush to,
the legend they call 'light at the end of the tunnel'.

You should be sorry, oh you should be sad,
all you would be is a runaway robber.
Because I could've been your brokeback god
now I would be everything but your lover.
I put my hat down to say sorry for being your bandit,
Now I ride to where the lights would welcome me,
far away from all the grime, dirt and strife
They all cheer and whistle and holler my name,
while you weep that your whole life,
let alone your morning rides will never be the same.
Yee to the f**king haw.
Louise Jun 2023
I had my cake and I ate it too,
like all the time in the world that you took.
Adorned with cherries
and decorated with cream,
like the taste of my lips
that is only a thing of your dreams.
I thought I have once
tasted a slice of heaven,
only for it to rot away to
a thing from hottest hell.

I had my time and you took it too,
like my faith and my core that you shook.
Laced with grace
and the promise of salvation,
thoughts of your touch once felt
like a dream vacation.
I thought I have once
been granted patience,
only for it to burn down a hole
in my purest conscience.

But then I was sure I had it all,
the diamonds, the universe,
I had you, but then I also have a curse.
The parties, the best jazz age whiskeys,
these shall be enough to distract me.
The waiting, the wondering
are opulence I could no longer afford.
Like my favorite vice I had to abandon,
you are a glimmering borrowed gown
I shall never again don.

But then I'm sure I could do more,
the Philippine pearls, the world,
wrapped around my finger in a red cord.
The weddings, the finest wines I could buy,
these shall do good to get me by.
The patience, the pitying
are charities I could no longer give.
Like a prayer I utter in front of a new lover,
I am the luxury, the gold, all the fortune
you would never wager.
Channeling my inner Daisy Buchanan/Ginevra King/Zelda Fitzgerald. Reading The Great Gatsby all over again.
Michael R Burch Nov 2021
Hymn to an Art-o-matic Laundromat
by Michael R. Burch

after Richard Thomas Moore’s “Hymn to an Automatic Washer”

O, terrible-immaculate
ALL-cleansing godly Laundromat,
where cleanliness is next to Art
—a bright Kinkade (bought at K-Mart),
a Persian rug (made in Taiwan),
a Royal Bonn Clock (time zone Guam)—
embrace my *** in cushioned vinyl,
erase all marks: ****, vaginal,
******, inkspot, red wine, dirt.
O, sterilize her skirt, my shirt,
my skidmarked briefs, her padded bra;
suds-away in your white maw
all filth, the day’s accumulation.
Make us pure by INUNDATION.

Published by The Oldie, where it was the winner of a poetry contest. This poem was inspired by the incongruence of discovering "works of art" while doing laundry at a laundromat with coin-operated washers and dryers. I was reminded of the experience while reading Richard Moore’s “Hymn to an Automatic Washer.” Keywords/Tags: hymn, art, America, Americana, laundry, laundromat, washer, dryer, appliances, clean, cleaning, cleanliness, clothes, clothing, underwear, god, godly, godliness, water, baptism, inundation, sonnet, analogy, humor
Elymaïs Nov 2021
On the seventh day he rested, but
Before he did, he selected a little
Piece called "Benton", and there's
Where he put heaven.
Matt Martin-Hall Oct 2020
Americana is a saggy *** ***** that leaves pockmarks in the sheets and sludge underneath the handles in the bathroom. 


The staff either don't or can't clean it. 


Lazy or honest. 

What a legacy. 


Her steel sheds and high hanging water towers peppered with rust stains, harken to the diseases that claimed this body long ago. 


Waylaid by a bygone era of chauvinism and supremacy.

***** by billionaire promises and suffocated
by his Bible's belt. 
 


Autoeroticism is a blood red state gasping for hot wet air in its own existential twilight.

Never to rise again. 


Your labyrinthine streets shaded by overgrowth and cracked freeways. 
 


Your dirtbrown waters and fenced in dogs.

They bark at the sky, screaming of the same stir crazy psychosis that's infected everything else within your borders. 


Beneath your clothes. 


I can see your long drooping *******, caked with the inky milk from long gone reserves. 


Black gold drained. 
 

Powdered milk of a different sort. 
 

Victim to the greed you've coveted and ****** on. 


Hard. 
 


*****. 
 


Fast. 
 


Loud. 
 


Your tragedy is vaguely romantic, 

in its slumped and defeated stature. 


Vericosed stilts stuck in the sewage and mud of your ideologies. 


No, we cannot go to bed together. 


I'm afraid of what the blood test would come back with in the dull diesel smoked grey morning. 


Something I've come to know you for. 


The sun sets red as the corners of your eyes. 


Who ever said an apocalypse had to happen suddenly? 


Your broken bones and hip strapped cattle calls. 


An auctioneer in the distance. 


The proud cliche of a lie laid Western Lore. 


The hot irons of pride in your sockets. 


You can't even see how hard we're all laughing. 


Only a few of these tears are for you.
I wrote this while driving through Huston for work. Suffice it to say, I was not a fan.
Matt Martin-Hall Oct 2020
Oh, the corpses that float

In the shadow of

the New Colossus.


A gift that should

have been taken back

by the French

long ago.


The lies of her crown

of her torch

her tablet

upon which writ

was a cattle call

to the enslaved and persecuted

within our own walls.


Is it justice?

Is it fate?


Whence they tear from you

your robe


the tarping

they use for Army tents.


Before they nailed you

to the stake,

they made you dance

a little.


Wave your torch over your head

so they can see the light

bounce off your tired *******

and crest the slump

of your dimpled ***.


Your crippled legs beg for a kneel.
 

Yet you dance on.


In vain.


You will still not be spared.
 

When they stripped you of your crown,


Did you know they were serious?


Plucking from it the thorns,

that became the spikes

that held you upon and to

the stake.


The rust from your green palms.


Blood red and weary.


Not a tear,

as they douse you in oil

and sneer through expensive veneers.
 

The cash at your feet

was not an offering,

but instead,

a wick.


Your hallowed bones

and hollow soul,

the offering.


That beacon,

that torch,

meets the fuse.


As a chorus of laughter rises

from the company of despots

at the backwoods ceremony this is-


as the light of your wilting steel

and melting carcass

flicks off of their contorted faces-


can you tell me;


Is this the rooster coming to roost?


Is this the reaping of the sowed?



Is this a lie laid to rest?
 

Or,

would you have rather drowned-


Like the tablet they stole from you

and threw in the ocean.


To rest in the shadow of a wall.
This is the start of a short political series I'm refining that uses American iconography as a lens through which hypocrisy and corruption is viewed. Enjoy?
Elizabeth Kelly Jul 2020
The air is heavy with a million million souls
Parts of wholes that escaped in the breaths of prayers
Whispered at windows of the desperate and the faithful
In the apple-core-rot towns and cities of America.

I’m standing in my driveway
And I can feel them all,
Bearing down like storm clouds in the heat.
Another offering could bring the heavens crashing to my feet.

My forehead is sweating, standing there in my driveway,
And I wipe it with the back of my hand,
Squinting into the haze.
The waves of energy
Their ecstatic mass vibrating, buzzing, clicking
A dog’s toenails on linoleum  
A tiny ear pressed to a mother’s chest as she hums. A heartbeat.

I feel dizzy
and wonder if the entirety of the universe
is made of the hopeful, wasted energy of unanswered prayers

I will dig a deep well inside myself to deposit the seeds of doubt, I say to myself and no one and the universe,
and despairing for the orphaned dreams surrounding me,
I give in to the indulgence of wishing.

The sky sags under the weight of a new plea
As I prepare to forget
Michael R Burch May 2020
Progress
by Michael R. Burch

There is no sense of urgency
at the local Burger King.

Birds and squirrels squabble outside
for the last scraps of autumn:
remnants of buns,
goopy pulps of dill pickles,
mucousy lettuce,
sesame seeds.

Inside, the workers all move
with the same très-glamorous lethargy,
conserving their energy, one assumes,
for more pressing endeavors: concerts and proms,
pep rallies, keg parties,
reruns of Jenny McCarthy on MTV.

The manager, as usual, is on the phone,
talking to her boyfriend.
She gently smiles,
brushing back wisps of insouciant hair,
ready for the cover of Glamour or Vogue.

Through her filmy white blouse
an indiscreet strap
suspends a lace cup
through which somehow the ****** still shows.
Progress, we guess, ...

and wait patiently in line,
hoping the Pokémons hold out.

NOTE: This poem is almost entirely fiction. There was a Pokemon craze when my son Jeremy was a little boy, and I did see birds and squirrels foraging in parking lots from time to time (and sometimes fed them myself from my car’s window), but everything else is fiction. On the rare occasions that I went to a Burger King, I would go through the drive-in, so I wouldn’t have known who the manager was, or how much time he/she spent on the phone. I think the poem probably started with the image of birds and squirrels squabbling for scraps of food in a parking lot as I waited in a line of slow-moving cars, then evolved as I imagined the hassle of going inside to “speed things up.” Keywords/Tags: America, Americana, American, culture, society, vanity, youth, progress, fast food, video games, Pokemon, MTV, music videos, glamour, models, supermodels, fashion, transparency, see-through, bra, breast, *******
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