Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Three Poems by Jeff Grimshaw


It was the golden age of swamp gas
There was "Green Onions" on the tape machine
There were dirty white socks
Tied in bows up and down the tent pole
For no reason at all
Bix paid me five dollars to buzz an Iron Cross in his hair,
Another five to call him Bix,
At the other end of the tent a little kid
Drew Martians on the empty McDonalds bag,
A big kid read Rosemary's Baby, and a
Crazy kid said What if the hippies dumped
LSD in the reservoir?
Would we even know we'd gone crazy?
We would know you were a moron said Bix
Let's talk about cattle mutilations
Hey you didn't buzz
The back of my neck

I'm not your barber I said
But if I had some silver paint
I could paint your iron cross silver.

When the revolution comes
Said the kid reading Rosemary's Baby
You two bastards will be
The first ones we put up against the wall

Because it was 1968
And people said that,
Evan at Boy Scout Camp

Sunday Morning Suggestions

First thing you gotta do is ear plugs
They won't block out everything you wanna block out
But they'll let you hear your own blood
Swishing around your head & it's good to hear sometimes
They make the air coming in & out your nose
Sound important too & remind you don't breathe thru your mouth

Eat something you left out on the kitchen counter last night
Or on the arm of the couch on a paper plate
Sunday morning you don't wanna be frying things up
Unless you got a girl there
Smiling, walking around in your tshirt
which not to rub it in or nothing you probably don't
Pot of coffee is okay if you need coffee to keep your head smooth

Now do the dishes, all of them, when you finish
Scrub the sink down too & open a window if it's sunny
Rinse off the sides of the sink, the last suds
Going down the drain make you feel like a sunflower tilting up to the sun
If not call a doctor you are sick

Check some crazy person's twitter feed while you drink a cup of coffee
Not too crazy, like Yoko Ono crazy
Put in as much milk as you want, don't be intimidated by people
Who call you a sad little girl if you don't drink
Your coffee black, the hell with them,
It is okay to take out the earplugs now

Think about a song you want to hear walking down the street
Then hear it when you go walking down the street
Remember you probably want to hear some songs when it rains
That you don't want to hear when it doesn't rain & vice versa

Check for milk crates in the alley next to the dry cleaner
People throw out milk crates on Saturday night
I don't know why, you can never have enough of them

Tick off the smells you pass through on the way home
Fried eggs coffee gasoline
Melted plastic
What was that all about??
Coffee (again) sawdust incense
Yeah the yoga girl's open window smells like incense
On Sunday morning wow

Mourn the state of Sunday comics pages
Do not be snotty about the music boiling out
Of the Christian church with the hand printed sign
Anticipate your second cup of coffee with pleasure
Call your sister
Draw a picture of a porcupine or
Something like that wearing pants &
Waving hello

Never mind why, just do it
It will make you feel better
I know what I'm talking about

Highway 71

12 days on the road with someone else's eyes
& nothing ever seen on earth in the side view mirror
Ever since I found the word "gelatinous" scrawled
On a scrap of paper in the glove box.

The meaning is obscure but not the chocolate kiss
In the dimple of the bucket seat beside me.  See, the moon
In the mirror is not the moon I like to see in the mirror.
I have ignored too many butterflies, I have

Removed too much copper from the basement next door.
Surely I have stepped over the line, or snorfled it up.
It is one lunar landscape after another outside my window and
The mirror shows me a cryptic palimpsest.  Jesus

Christ, who talks like that?  I guess me.  Let's talk about
They eyeballs in my shirt pocket & their incredible journey
Which is far from over.  Let's talk about the statute of
Limitations.  Or is it too late for talk?  There are

Two moons over the mountain and nothing on the radio
That I couldn't dance to, if I felt like dancing.

Jeff Grimshaw has had poems and stories published (among other places) in New York Quarterly, Asimov's SF, and Chiron Review.  He's the co-writer of the screenplay for Michel Gondry's movie The We & The I (2013).  Chapbooks include Lazy Boy v. Crazy Girl (2007) and the upcoming Wallace Beery Wrestling Dream.  He generally makes his living as a baker, and lives in Milford, NJ.

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