Raymond Farr

Normal Poem

“Who are you?”
“Kristen,” she said.
“Kristen’s a name. Who are you?” the duck asked.
She said, shrugging, “Mommy, Daddy, Leif.”

—Robert Hass

                I threaten
To break all of

Mother’s teeth
With a hammer

The younger kids
Try not hearing it

They go outside
They cover their ears

Rain, rain, they cry
Scalping it

Drowning it out
                I am 12—

The oldest—mother
Shrugs & hands me

The hammer defiantly
                The sun

Is a tired dragon
Feeding on

Battered young
Boys like myself

                & Father
Has vanished—is

Assumed dead
In the west

                & I have this
Image of my mother

& she’s driving
The little red clown

Car of her sex in
& out of father’s

& the hammer

Is like a fire now
Eating away

The flesh of my
Small left hand

& my hand
Is a shaking

Skeleton’s hand
& the children

Keep chanting—
Stones, stones

We are nothing
But stones!

Brain Monkeys

We don’t squeal
So much as we

Eye tree shade forever

The poem is about scraping
The butterfly out

                A scanned man
Dreadlocked & punching

Walks a river

Trees of black deletions

& 8 precise hands
On the grave where

The box lies—
No interpreter!

A Poem We’ve Built a Fence Around

A little black dog
Is sitting beside us
In a mirrored room

& one of us is a poem
The other has built
A fence around

& we’re kind of
Superstitious about
Breaking little hearts

Like the one in me
& death is just a skull
Of blonde wood

You’d better put it
Down or encrust it
With diamonds

The Streets So Pretty in Neon

Light is

We coexist

A process
Guiding us—

By Time
& by luck—


Our every act

A thought
A gesture


To express
No punch line!

No jittery
Hands “On

The verge
Of being

Just quitting

Work early
To be

With you
The streets

So pretty
In neon

Ourselves on the Scale

                     You know
You look like cancer, right?

Big water torture eyes
& Venus practicing antiquity

On the cheap blow-up, pool-toy
Dolphins in yr pool

                     I mean, it’s a
Particular, forced, formal-wear

Death march we’re on
Up baby-momma’s river of

Habitual scarcity
                     & it’s kind of

Like sulfurous noodle platter
Goodness is what we’re

Getting, when what we
Desire is for death to break

The ice for us
It’s as though we’re putting

Small reasons into words
                     & there are 99 shy

Declarations hooting from
Our asses

Raymond Farr’s poetry books are available at www.lulu.com/spotlight/blueandyellowdogpress His work appears in Otoliths, Caliban On Line Review, Posit, Forklift OH, Word/forWord, & elsewhere. Raymond is editor of Blue & Yellow Dog, http://blueyellowdog.weebly.com & The Helios Mss, theheliosmss.blogspot.com.
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