Monday, August 27, 2012

Two Poems by Joan McNerney

Charlie Horse

Gambling everything: bank book
insurance policy frame house.
He bought into the business.
Now he was superior could push
us around. Brag about being
management. Wasn't I lucky
to have such a nice boss?
There's no wishing him away.
Charlie was something definite
like that charlie horse tearing
you out of sleep at 4 a.m.
He told some personal stories
making me feel all covered with slime.
How he'd never finished high school,
been a drunk, got divorced, beaten
up dogs, kicked his kids out.
Impressive. He affected everyone.
Some to tears. Others to screaming.
Certain bosses sort of stared
at him puzzled, smiling slightly.
Day after day, he hammered in ideas.
The old ways were best. He never
made mistakes. Nobody works anymore.
It had something to do with
America and obedience.
Malignant sweat grew through his
heart and became putrefied. Charlie
dropped dead one day from a heart
attack and somebody buried that horse.
The Search
We are the lost who have
climbed hillsides...gathering
innumerable and unnamed
stumbling over sharp rocks
searching for our long shadows.

Tracing darkness with
vagrant fingertips
tasting the disdain of dust
we are long shadows
moaning with open mouths.

Eating bitter food grown
on the wrong side of this moon
our hearts caged in fear
fearing we have been cast off
fearing we have no destination.

Sands burning our feet
whipping our unnamed faces
we are long shadows crossing
this dessert longing for
an end to our thirst.

We are losing our shadows
entering empty caves
now listening for echoes
now finding wells of memories
innumerable and unnamed.
Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, 63 channels, Spectrum, and three Bright Spring Press Anthologies. She has been nominated twice for Best of the Net in 2011. Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses.

No comments:

Post a Comment