Tom Hibbard


who gets maddest
in the zoo bathtub
the banished speedway
tavern hall of fame
armies of suspended garbage
bring an end to roads
muddy respite
confusing the issue
mr. and mrs. sunlight
furrowing poached sprees
can't find the way
with fists of costume hail
racks of native garb
hauled around in cement mixers
wanting to get started
wondering which thoughtless cupola
will map the outline
of crumbling foundations
serpentine habits
always at risk
overrun the last garden
long lines of wearisome cars
wining for a stoplight
frog bones publicly picked clean
food-stained hypermen
carrying the forest
tearing holes in the air
through unnatural prisms
on-cue quacking
down the downspout
to the triangular uninformed sea
pointing you back where you came from

morning and night
this is how you address the problem:
there's nothing anyone can do
all our agents are busy
robotville gets worse
with a little harmless pond
artificial waterfall
running downhill
soothing music
to catch bewildered neighborhoods
the conspicuous shelters
unbearable caves
that hide the river
with manhood stickies
everything is taken care of
except what would happen
if the war ever ended
styrofoam churches rising
up in the desert
that seem to resemble
the almighty dollar
especially since all you have to do
is keep your yap shut
about the stink
at the check-out counter
jello in the water
the white slush
approving itself
who are you trying to impress
with someone's delicacies
the missing plum tree
squirreled away
where it doesn’t know where it’s going
it all belongs to you
my my

again and again
deep in nature
it might get worse
desperately alone
within ourselves
there is unhappiness
thinking about you
holes in clothes
is that worthwhile
acres of star-debris released
unconfined cropland
looks seriously ill
we didn't do a good job
not the national aeronautics bureau
not ourselves
nor public school facilities
incensed spittle
irreversible finitude
like chemicals in the soil
that ensure nothing will change
not enough water
to want to get better
nature is you
not something else

be ready for birds
tens of thousand of them
from near and far
sparrows that don't count
cowbirds on the loose
a song high above
about blackbird pie
nothing without wings allowed
jays and finches
wrens and thrushes
in the hour of falling
the overflowing streams
that destroyed the room
that followed too closely
no time for itemized deductions
get on board
join the crowd
don't be bashful
yes we all screwed up
time to pay the tax collectors
everyone knows
the big lie is dead
go ahead and dig in
see where it gets you
a king-sized headache
what's "law" spelled backwards
"wal" as in wal-mart
the birds sing a new song
close the book of life
here come the dead
above the unique corpse
hovers one vulture

Tom Hibbard has had recent poetry online in Cricket, e·ratio and Otoliths. The poetry is from a chapbook Ghotki Crater and a multi-media piece, Iraqi Ice Tea (Big Bridge). An essay, Linear/Nonlinear, appears online in the current issue (12) of Big Bridge. Read new reviews at Jacket and Moria.

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