Raymond Farr

In Poems Causing Happiness

Time is glib—a mixed up kid pounding on doors.
His moment shrinking in the sun.

In poems causing happiness we do not give up! 
Nor do we surrender! 

A rueful existence suspends belief.

                                     I want to thank the state.
Not like a madman.
But like a murmuring cyclone spieling about cities.

                           Like Czech words in fast heads 
We drive round & round the bistro
Looking for a space—

Our human endeavors get blurred to extinction.

Jones of the Bonfire of the Inanities

                      Yr music is charmed somehow
Deep in the forests of the night of the iguana

                           So you bathe & stay in
Steeping tea in a jar
Faking each passage

Each edit gaunt at the weird helm
As yr language self cleans

                                            But if 
You open yr fridge hoping for melon or cheese cake

                         Yr voice makes a picture
                      Yr poems seem to mock 
                                         Hangs braided up
                    The painted conifer

But you can’t figure out why Lassie comes home 
Only when it’s scripted

& we all have a good cry over poor Timmy

The Discovery of Helium

Ordering take out
From orbit

She wrote letters 
To Khrushchev

& to Kennedy

The space race
The monkeys 

Were lab rats
I guess she wore 

The last thing 

I wanted
Was her blank face

In my hot cup 
Of Ramen—

A UFO zigzagging
In the strange 

Of her eyes—

So I spoke up
I felt something 

Move gently across

I just took 
Her hand

The music 
She downloaded

Like a puppy

On frozen 

Laughing men


The Gluten Free Woman of Suburbia

Somewhere near 
Apache Road

The wilderness 
Just ends—

A cloud of dust
Menial as a frown

& suburbia is born
It splits itself open

Like a muscular pod

The gluten free woman
Thinks she’s Joan Jet

& shows up drunk
Only to find

The Ramones 

Licking Fire from Our Fingers

This wishing the iamb
Back into vogue 

Is the noise of a dead man
Picking fruit in a blizzard

As line by line
Our orchards burn down

& exit each page
We imitate the succubus

Licking fire from our fingers
But whose peaches are these peaches

Spilling out chaotically tonight 
All over the Alewife Brook Parkway?

The good luck has been edited 
All out of them—

Snow buries this business
Of misfortune

Raymond Farr is author of numerous books in print, including Ecstatic/.of facts (Otoliths 2011) as well as Starched, Rien Ici, & Writing What For? across the Mourning Sky. His latest book Poetry in the Age of Zero Grav, from which these poems are taken, is due out in 2014. He is editor of the experimental poetry zine Blue & Yellow Dog.
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