Thursday, May 23, 2013

Two Poems by Al Ortolani

Lorca Deep Fries a Turkey
Whoever dreamed
peanut oil could change a life?
The first rule: never use
a frozen turkey.
Google it…a family moves
into the street in their stocking feet,
November rain like bullets, children
stricken, parents wide-eyed.
Through the dining room
window, as if orchestrated
by a surrealist, they watch
the table, crystal gleaming,
flatware polished, the antique tablecloth
catching fire at the corners.
The cook should have been reading
directions rather than Lorca.
He was back in Spain, fascinated
with flowers, challenging the heat,
his body a banquet
of fresh bread, mashed potatoes,
oyster dressing.


piano music
too cold to step outside
period…spring break, no
lesson plans, no desire except
to roll over, wake after 10,
warm coffee, read email,
tweak resignation, eat
leftover noodles & 3 stale
oreo cookies, let the cat
out, check obituaries…
return to the bedroom
thickened, dull stomach, head
fogged...chew tobacco,
spit in a plastic coke
bottle, daydream
about a great poem...
feel guilt about
sins of omission...would
Adderall help,
too lethargic to add
capital letters or correct
punctuation, comma
splices connect
without metaphor, ellipsis
follows ellipsis…
a birdsong
in a cage…a piano
pushed north
across wooden
floors…applause from
crickets, iced-in,
Al Ortolani 's poetry and reviews have appeared in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Camroc Press Review, New Letters, The Quarterly, The Boston Literary Magazine, Poetry Bay and the New York Quarterly. He has three books of poetry, The Last Hippie of Camp 50 and Finding the Edge, published by Woodley Press at Washburn University and Wren's House, published by Coal City Press in Lawrence, Kansas. His newest collection, Cooking Chili on the Day of the Dead, will be published by Aldrich Press in 2013. He is an editor for The Little Balkans Review and works closely with the Kansas City Writer's Place.

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