Anesthetized

no data,
doesn’t matter
get some facts and force them into
tangled webs of gossamer
and lies
the scientists are vying
with the publicists and naturalists
romanticists and classicists
and spies
the talking heads are talking
as the chopping blocks are chopping
and the commentators comment on it all
home looking, works cooking
we crash the couch and force the spike
into our flaccid arteries
and let the world
fall upon us with a sigh
on flat screen tablets
and in digital surround
on a rising stream of noise we swim
it engulfs us and we drown again
anesthetized
’til tomorrow when
we rise
poor Lazarus
to watch again

(Note: I wrote this in 2004. Hard to believe how much worse it’s gotten since then. Poor Lazarus, indeed.)

The Warrior Has Fallen

The warrior has fallen,
the armor joint between his chin and his chest
pierced by an arrow.
A lucky shot from across the field,
severing an artery:
the warrior has fallen.

The foot soldiers rush forward
to pull the warrior from beneath his war horse.
They lift his helmet:
blood runs from his open mouth, jaw slack.
Arrows continue to fall.
The foot soldiers rush forward.

The lancers are advancing
from across the field, their pikes sticky with the blood
of screaming peasants
who had walked to war with staves and clubs,
victory promised to them.
The lancers are advancing.

Untrained field hands are huddling
without shields and armor, watching for a signal.
But the warrior
is dead or dying, despite his armor
and his war horse, and his gold.
Untrained field hands are huddling.

Chaos on top of carnage,
the army of serf soldiers attempting to flee.
Escape routes closing,
horsemen chase them down, blocking
their paths into the forest,
chaos on top of carnage.

The warrior has fallen.
As he dropped his commanding aura died with him.
Confused and frightened
servants suddenly understand war:
there are no sure victories.
The warrior has fallen.

Copyright 2004, J. Eric Smith

Tiny Blue Isle

We all live on a tiny blue isle
in a ravening crimson sea
that scours our shore
as storm gales roar
from windward side to lee.

We all live on a tiny blue isle
that shudders against the waves
of scarlet brine
and turpentine
leached from sunk schooners’ graves.

We all live on a tiny blue isle,
that’s smaller, day by day,
as marshland sinks
into that pink
foam sloshing ’round the bay.

We all live on a tiny blue isle,
like a berry in currant crème,
a healthy mote
that stays afloat
in a sticky blood-red stream.

We all live on a tiny blue isle
and work one job, with glee:
we fling blue sand
with spade and hand
to fight that damned red sea . . .

Me And Sweetman’s Christmas

Me and my friend Sweetman, we was deep in dismal thought,
late at night over whiskey (straight) down at Grumpy’s Drinkin’ Spot.
It was Christmas Eve, yes sir, and our wives, they had gone and left,
(though that had been many years ago, we was still a bit bereft).

We was chewin’ on pigs feet, the kind we pulled out of the jar
that sat next to the pickled eggs and the calves brains behind the bar.
And Sweetman sighed and said then, he told me “Man, this just ain’t right,
we really oughta get us something better to eat for tomorrow night.”

Right then, at that moment, we heard some sleigh bells overhead,
so we stumbled outside, looked up, and saw a bright red flyin’ sled,
it was headin’ off southward, behind a dozen head of deer,
so I grabbed me my gun real quick before that meat could disappear.

Like an ace, well, I drew a bead upon the twelve point buck in front,
while my good partner Sweetman, he just shut up, like when we hunt.
Then I pulled me the trigger, and saw that buck come tumbling down,
me and Sweetman we walked a bit, and found our dinner on the ground.

Man, I tell you, that Christmas night, we had the best damned supper yet
’cause that deer made a lot of steaks, plus some sausage I won’t forget.
So me and Sweetman we sat there, feelin’ bloated and pleased as swine,
gettin’ drunker and drunker on hooch that we made from turpentine.

— Copyright 2004, J. Eric Smith

Thaw

It’s time for the annual spring posting of a favorite piece of writing, which I like both for its content, and for its form. I hope I am not overly optimistic in sharing these sentiments today, since it’s not too late for a rebound freeze . . .

Unbundled, unbound and resuscitated,
as the hated freeze leaves us, we perambulate,
embracing first thaw, a date we’ve long contemplated
through the faded, dark months while we’ve lain in wait.
Savage winters force us to truly appreciate
thaws (early or late): these reprieves are consummated
by elated pasty wraiths watching snow dissipate,
our great warming joy pure, clear and concentrated.

Iowa Rhymes Again: Poet’s Corner 2

“Warning Signs”

I will not take my wife
to State Fairs anymore:
I went to go see Butter Cow,
and lost her to Big Boar.

“Side Effects”

I gave up eating meat
per PETA Girl’s requests.
I’m now a soy-fueled PETA Boy,
with unexpected breasts.

“Red Zone”

The Cyclones have the ball,
two seconds on the clock.
A pass, a score, they win the game!
(Twelve people die from shock).

“Trip Time Portal”

No matter where we go,
our GPS display
says driving there and back will take
three hours, either way.

“Gasp!”

The farmer’s wife was shocked
to find her husband’s porn,
from which she learned a brand new way
to eat an ear of corn.

“Climate Control”

Our winters are quite cold.
The summers? Very hot.
It’s windy almost all the time,
and rainy when it’s not.