Brooks Lampe

Daybreak In the Fabulous Alfalfa

Here come the unfortunate ones
slouching in their wicker chairs reading Proust, 
curling in plaid blankets waking up inside a rainy morning
with a sudden desire to become a bird—bird without email
who never dresses in lace or talks to algebra problems when not dressed in gray.
What must be defeated are meticulous lines that trample on each other
like a trolley of crayons that your guilt for neglecting your grandma-in-law
rides on
                  wearing down the nub of psychic steel, resisting
the shield of backward soundwaves just before an explosion of starfish,
which continuously blow your name continuously undress that is to say plant 
your human soul in the earth.

Aristotle on the basketball court is as beautiful as a new habit
for we are compositions in distress still hungry
like ocean waves at night
or ogres creating new names with their fingernails of silk.

My son, embers create by dying and propose we blow on them
but the room opens and spills its singularity onto a street corner
and the rain deposits a cloud encyclopedia in the mouths of greedy fish.

The Noise of Heavily Falling Hair

Father, the rain beats like sleep in the mouth of the wood 
and the eye of iron eats alone without a candle.
The pig’s pure silver body shouts new words to leaky rocks
and the purse up-ends itself in the triangular tub.

The last office workers corrode inside the salt wind blanket,
their children still smelling like pencil shavings 
rescued by anamorphic sculptures.

Father father the teakettle is up to no good
ascending the stairs heading into the bedroom
turning into a toad. I see her naked shoulder the ice
or should I say the rain 
                                                     indistinguishable from light.
It has no taste, an array of lichen beats on the door
like a jaundiced slug. She is asking for you
or for Kafka. I shall sacrifice my Muhammed Ali shirt
which smells like clean laundry that is to say temperate forests
and towels after a shower that are porcelain wax angels
or hands black with soot
or the sound of the question, “Can I borrow your car?”
that you never owned since the raisins were sleeping in the garage.

Brooks Lampe lives in Oregon and teaches at George Fox University. His poems have appeared in Little River, Peculiar Mormyrid, and elsewhere. He runs Uut Poetry.
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