Jack Collom & Mark DuCharme

Three Poems

& the flowers, bent into position standing
for something to do with Chicago, began to
explode, vibrantly, though in relief against
the flowers of Lincoln that Bell had
landed, in the brittle trees, & felled
almost as an afterthought. Apparently
never having lived so wickedly, they
cut hundreds of miles into southern
France for their luxuriance, &
sampled the local mustard. King Ferrous
revealed a liking for tarts, & quivered
unequivocally, until Miss Betty explained
the difference between port & portentous. Meanwhile, the moon
—oh, nothing. Uncle Happy would have growled, except
he had passed on—poor Hap. All the harbingers foretold
less than one repetition; however, green servings (as
in enchiladas as lit by Von Trier) taste like
Motown before the Balkan War, if you don't count
Sundays. The nice thing about veiled eroticism is
how the veil feels. Then she bought a ticket to
ride, on a spree, & slipped gingerly
into the ginger, which was just what Hadley
inferred. If you jump out of the gloom, what you have left is
black jellybeans. "Oh stop it, Gerard!" insisted
Helga, who got her name while escaping
from the far end of Agleh. Meanwhile,
all the birds were coughing. If this were a fairytale, you'd think
they'd be coughing cute little songs, but in fact what emerged
was a kind of dulcet bitterness. The doors were open, but
who cared? General Grammaw simply smiled and
limped into the traffic. If undecided at any point,
badminton turns into fleece. And then
it hit me: all the general strikes & marginalia could be outsourced any instant, leaving
South Carolina without a dessert, unless
y'all wanna make it. Meanwhile, the insurgents
kind of—well, you know, sang the following song:
"Cry me a liter, but don't go." The bungalows are still in need of repair.


I follow
down the center
I immediately fall back

outpouring often
splashes almost beautifully
at feet of one

go by
each one composed
of millions of dots

hand is
made of three
words which are missing

threw a
goose-egg into Pete's
wishbone, thinking it golden

the mariachi
explodes with every
sweep of its tail

not quantum
the goddamn thing
the cities were misplaced

bit me
so I filled
up with bitter fruit

bars bars
chords, ear muffs
but too few colors

is worse
than weisswurst, but
love colors our belongings

out, around
but not otherwise
like a perfect tomato

but shabbily
she built a
built a lost city

means calcium
in denmother memos
and it's supposed to

means lanyard
means blue slyboots
zygotes ate your testimony

to the point of
straying in dialogue
back to

nextdoor to Office Max
is office mini
run by

my name is James
no it's not!
what rot

when I consider "balance"
I throw myself
off the

every one of you
philanderers is so

stop that right now
stop that right
that right

let her come in
so she can
see me

these shoes are so
solid, they could
almost stand

like sketches of Sundays
her imagination ran
wildly down

"is this the right
classroom, Mister?" "I
am Professor

to wake up in
Fayetteville, we must
proceed slowly,

his plans always seemed
too intricate to
come together

Captain Spaulding was the
victim's brother; he
burst out

a round of stanzas
playing John Wayne
in a

What is this about?
Is it the nature of speech?
Who's your mother talking to right now?
Why do I have to answer, and to whom?
Do you think you know where China is?
In relation to what dislocation?
Do you love rhyme more than life itself?
Or rhythm more than the life of the mind?
When did Pound say, "Rhythm stays."?
Who would pound a haunting dancefloor in order to happen on a love of the demotic?
What did Babe Ruth bat in 1931?
Why go quietly batty when you can do so with a splash & great aplomb?
Who lives in the basement, Father Bill?
& Who is that knocking, knocking, knocking?
What do you put in pancakes?
Wherefore art thou, Gomez, my stalwart valet?
But what does Canada know?
Does she dance the fandango with an upright skill set?
How many grits in a wolverine's colonoscopy?
Would you ever want to know the answer?
Did Diderot have any children? What kind?
What kind of pilgrim would wander into this banquet reeking of licorice?
Who? And why not?
How did President Polk talk when he was just drinking orange juice?
Or was it "just the orange juice talking," when he ventured out into the moonlight?
Will I remember the garbage bags Friday?
Will I remember the sestina & the dump & the filibuster?
Does Holly really love Gordon or is she a dang gold-digger?
It is better to sing, is it not?
Have you seen Sydney in the last couple years?
Wasn't he last heard from in Singapore, hunting the wild goose?
What's your favorite binomial integer?
Will the rafters grow weary of our bliss?
Is it the yellow?
Is your favorite guilty pleasure merely macaroons?
What are you gonna do about it?
What would Brando do?
Do cornblossoms turn out right?
Ah, the wine & the macaroni—what is it you call that?
What's your dog like?
Can you find heaven in a state of emergency?
Can you find hell in a chance remark?
Can you stake a fellow earthling to a wild ride?
What's that gleam, Pancho?
Is it supposed to mean that Spain will soon be over?
How many letters in "orange-colored"?

Jack Collom is the author of 25 books and chapbooks of poetry and three CDs; he’s also responsible for three collections of writings by children, all published by Teachers & Writers Collaborative, New York. In 2001, Tuumba Press (California), issued a 500-page volume, Red Car Goes By, as his Selected Poems. In 2012, Instance Press released his book, Second Nature. He has twice been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship. In 2012 he was granted a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Poetry Award. A “Day” was celebrated for him (2001) in his longtime home, Boulder, Colorado. Collom is interested in finding, exploring and helping spread new ways to talk from/of/about nature. Thinks it’s all serious, all funny. He’s married to writer Jennifer Heath and is the father of four grown children.

Mark DuCharme’s print books of poetry include Answer (BlazeVox, 2011), The Sensory Cabinet (BlazeVox, 2007), Infinity Subsections (Meeting Eyes Bindery, 2004) and Cosmopolitan Tremble (Pavement Saw Press, 2002). The Found Titles Project was published electronically in 2009 by Ahadada. The Unfinished: Books I-VI will be published in 2013, again by BlazeVox. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Big Bridge, Letterbox, New American Writing, OR, Reconfigurations, The Volta and elsewhere. His Web site is http://mark-ducharme.com.
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