National Poetry Month: April 7th

April 7, 2014

Free-floating anxiety sounds like a pretty balloon by Bob Hicok

I need a soft day, soft hour, a minute
without edge or the stare of a man
with homicide in his teeth.
Need a cigarette you can smoke
to get in shape, that sucks
tension out while putting
slimmer thighs in your quiver, something
in menthol or better yet a Cajun
gasper, fag, coffin stick
for blackened lungs that puff on
after the fidgeting fit
have blown their gaskets. Need
to jump from 30 stories up & scream
through tumbling of Olympic merit,
to have my heart stop one two three
times faster than the speed of thought
and land on a serial killer
to applause for my good deed & aim.
I can’t have a life any longer
that doesn’t include recreational hours
under palm fronds with a woman
who speaks fluent ocean, syllables
that begin a thousand miles away
and arrive at my ear
carrying a tall drink and breeze.
I’ve been here two score and change
and can’t remember when a smile
was high fashion. My basic
complaint’s that there’s too much
speed, mortal combat & voodoo
floating around, that cars
haven’t been replaced by pillows
so spontaneous napping can break out,
that my reflex with obituaries
is to think, more chotchkes for me.
Maybe they had it right in kindergarten,
all I need’s a time out, to go off
and rant with my little fists
against the dirt, which listens
but refuses to say what it’s learned
these bitter years swallowing us.


This poem was selected by Russell J. (Adult Services Librarian)

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