Jim Leftwich

The Four Oaks Poems (Page 1)

punctuated equilibrium

air conditioning
with or without
a cat sleeping
on the front
porch under a
wooden swing;
the clothes
hamper, with or
without bottled
water, an
aquarium, Jesus
with wings a
blue light bulb,
three logs
stacked in the
hurricane season
to the east 
and fire 
season to the west.
i am
in the same room
i was in
yesterday, but i
am sitting in
a different chair.

A poem

should be
a Joshua
tree, not
a pentalobe

Haint-Blue Shutters

Your blue bottles on four
Tree limbs. Eye blue
Bottles on my three limbs.
The blue eye of the
Peacock at pyramid. At
The corner of Pyramid 
And Wine. In the evening
When the sun ghost dawn.

Feather Not Ice

Listen goddamnit I can
live in this world I've
been here for sixty four
years We have evidence

And no doubt The
hydrangea blooms by the
driveway The gun case
rots in the hallway Black
Yucateco Habanero Sauce
Every fish flies its own
fucking bicycle I won't go

away Like shale Like salt
Like salt on a shellfish I
Shall contain my selves
Like the toll roads in
Indiana A wall is not
a buffer Like the caves
At Dublin Gulch In 

Death Valley National Park

Fake Book

dog biscuit
radiator, radio
like whiskey on a frog
adios alligator

socket wrench
bench pressure cooking james
bible bleeding


No Airport Poems

Windy as a clock
Chicken lightning
Four cats concrete
Soup by the dozen
A lock, spinning
Thin fingers, sour
& slight as a snack

Grand Cyn Oxygen

Fog bearing
The log rollers

By their ears
We linger

Hovering over
The canyon

Filled with
Clouds holier

Than dog

Long Ego Ago

mango stitch polyethylene
cat on a flat chord rope the
road curves and the ride
swerves and the sword hat
leans like a bean on a witch
bent there dawn that long
ego ago standing in the aisle
with that Kansas City smile

Hypnagogic Punditing
(trumpets of the apocalypse)

Stalin would run as a Democrat and we would vote for him because, hey, he's better 
than Hitler.

2020: Triangulation Stage 3, in which the Neocons become wise elder statesmen in 
the Democratic Party.

Biden is being accused of plagiarism. He writes his own speeches? No one believes 

Well-bent forget the middle pie

chicken dust, in that Himalayan 
coffee cans, for the Folsom prism 
two shoes, dropping there like plates, 
dripping pigs, i'll put them on the pink

shelf, where the dogflowers burn 
and rumble, do you want me to put 
the bream, dare to twelve with a suit
of dawns, anywhere, where too many 

of them remember (a leash of phones) 
it just as if it was easy to tell them apart.

(Scott MacLeod hacks a batch of my poems)
a Joshua tree yesterday

but I am sitting in a different chair
Black Yucateco
Habanero Sauce
the toll roads in
Diana, Indiana
the sun ghost dawn
alligator whiskey
Clouds holler
Then dog
Windy Chicken
sour as a snack

Don't them all
(riffing on Scott's hack)  

But I am
a habanero
toll road.
No son
of an alligator
gonna holler
dog snack
at me.

Rid Rod Dim Red

Rid, rid of dim, dim
Ride, ride dim, dim
Rod, rod of dim, dim
Rip dim rot, riot dim,
Dim red bed fed led,
Led rid, rod dim red,
Red rot of dim ride,
Rid, rid of dim, dim

pangolin dengue monsoon

pangolin couch vitamin
dengue succulent bubbling
monsoon flyswatter pistol

monsoon succulent vitamin
dengue couch pistol
pangolin flyswatter bubbling

bubbling couch monsoon
pistol succulent pangolin
vitamin flyswatter dengue

bubbling succulent vitamin
couch pangolin flyswatter
monsoon pistol dengue

I Am Not A Robot

I am not a rutabaga
I am not a rabbit-eared antenna
I am not a reboot
I am not A. Rimbaud
I am not a robocall

I am not a rummage sale
I am not a ratfink
I am not a refuse fuse
I am not a riptide
I am not a Rottweiler

(Elizabeth City)

i am not a robot (2)

i am not a rinse via tomato
i am not a roaming meniscus albumin
i am not a retirement membrane brillo
i am not a ruthless cucumber mentation
i am not a ranch dressing invitational tournament

i am not a Rembrant
i am not a rotisserie chicken
i am not a rat rot rut
i am not a ripple ribble riqqle riddle
i am not a rust rusting rust

i am not a crook a crock
I am not a crutch a crumb
I am not a crack a cram
I am not a creed a creep a cream
I am not a crimp a crib a crinkle

nudity & the raindrop

down by the covid river
corona river
virus river
as neither
due to six bridge
down by the corona river
virus river
covid river
making use
of the virtual
sense to exist
down by the virus river
covid river
corona river
historical that is
vernacular privilege
and applied chronologies
down by the covid river
corona river
virus river

volatile facets

shoes indelibly
pandemic stage
on which non
linear pandemic
sidestepped escape
nor doubt
pandemic inedible
sage near
crepe pandemic

your new ironing board
is still an ocean

cooking reasonable three
well-scissored windows
blurt seamless trenches
from the first baked lamp
bean pyramid chakra
bones sleep like any
other cactus clusters
eastbound after sundown



triangulate in forage

seldom baby booters have
half-hive buyers boxers
boating bodhi baobab our
favorite territories are
hemmed to the femur the
screech of the syllable the
scream of the phoneme the
shriek in the shape of a
consonant singular presence
synergy our ragged eggs
a quart of undecidable coin

light of the wreck

pri gon victo half-comr
to reinvestmecon
oppi activists of refuge
work intima and priva
the no overthink
psycholoin psycholion
tyger preserves the
sentence haileca
politics ugly real
stunning scang and
pickl dav philosophi
polit thought limits
limits the wreckage
of the canned guano
mirror process thh
their self over
romantic houzev
the system rules
how loss audionne
otth what thlaspi
skies of aspic eyes
syneye symreye
the night rituals
sever the lamb
th downdawn clasps
dread brathe also
soap they mirror
apex of orthodoxies
nusle the wreve
my job as an eye
wanting to dot the
eyes that it is
after a soup no
fault of the mailsock
mear alfoib almosat
every path has a p

reality damages touch

how could i think to
cluster it's a noun i
have my rearview
toothbrush things
continue to disagree
thought is a fever
spinning like actual
beings liminal regards
in the buttoned batter
nothing could be so
wrong as a hinge 
formed of unspoken
perspectives even our
criteria are missing

No Justice No Peace

While sitting in a chair
While spitting on a chair
While splitting a hair

While walking through a door
While talking through a door
While chalking on a floor

While standing on the ground
While standard on the ground
While stranded on the sound

While emptying the trash
While taking out the trash
While emptying the trash

While sifting in a chair
While shifting in a chair
While sitting in a chair

planet of ravages

unsett dujart shovel
forwout between
tackl langua creath
the mirror within th
math the postwork
calligraph emavario
from lives embraced
a fire was set in the
wash no virus will
announce the previo
symptoms of its
health convulsed
this hat of burned
doves cascading
conglon regs apoca
to felimit eventche
eve nonc robs the
change against
pandemic weather

no node ode

no not note
node ode odd
ode mode mod
nod nor for
fob mob sob
so sot shot
shoot soot foot
food fool tool
toll toil boil
foil fool cool
cold fold old
mold bold bole
mole mule mull
full fall fail
nail ail wail
bail pail pal
pale bale ball
bull null cull
call calf half
halt hilt wilt
will fill file
mile mite mote
note not no

control freak theater

influx maps to school
facet their cell rank
scales, mosquitoes
quaintly preliminary.
how does bacteria 
identify the theater 
of command? thus
heterogenous dream
microvirus flash
food washing fast
watching flooders
too shoe to nap in
flutes ratchet their
phone banks caliper,
calibrated liminal
saints. cafeteria
howling dust, thus
dreamers ashen ash.

Dreams of Normalcy

On the 91st day of
My 17th dream
The rain fell on the 
Rain. It flowed
Down the driveway
And filled up the
Ditch. The green
Lawns were greener
Than green. My cat
Climbed up on my
Lap. Gimme them
Catnip treats,
Bitchass bitch, or
I'll claw your fucking
Face off. Don't think
I won't. Meow. The
Rain fell on the rain,
On the 91st day of
My 17th dream.

Relinquish #1


Relinquish #2






At Five In The Road

Enough stomach
Last long tooth
Too raw to crawl
To the left of here

By the time we get
To Syracuse
Where they keep
The commas

There has to be 
An inch of light
They're not just 
Dead or worth

Your weight in
Work worth their
Weight in dirt I'll 
Be back on Sunday
And we'll see 
If that's enough

Pigeon Peas & Clams

Macaroni roadblock
Might turn to puppy
Dog the same as
With your mustache
That time of the
Morning foreclosed
A number of the
Forgotten too long
Stuffed with stepping
Stones he's not
Going to eat those
Remember how you
Got here mint fob PM
Dark as the day is
Long like bubbles like 
Bubbles on a train

saying them exposes

readymade fragments
are untranslatable.
face-value spirals
entry to soccer, in its
astute particulars.
lamp in sea a heresy.
the oddly singing
world sways language
intertwining simmering
their love for two
dimensional varieties.

red belfry tooth

in which stark is 
jump-started cut
to a false start
an entanglement
of grace notes
a gritty trombone
alterity / be very
careful when
quaking through
the reality zone
it is mercurial
like burning meat

diagonal bent salts

too methane to meander
in the forest of ecomonic
statements, through
the climatelisp senate
crucible / through the
Land of Mirrors In Series
/ America foaming
anchovies from her
storyboards / West of
The Lion by a couple of
biscuits, the gas lease
sizzles for fish, whittling 
misguided worlds,
a naked people-grab

fashion under stanch

lear dire better water
blueprimt, starmap
in a tide pool, an
independent rags
more tolerab than
the moon. monsoon
myste extraordine
in the valley of sea
sonal land scrapes.
reading writes added
the host in D his 19
pianos in the year
of no history, none.

fa da enduring bell

roughly teaching takir it
opens to a taken locatio
mistakes coiled around
the still light, two why
who when in a whole,
hair like snow, oil country
longing to have. whateve
fills it with a dotted thick
catch quirks the spot
lightning, a plague of fire.

betwee crimp an exper

data advised directly
Anonymous Jones
the Under Director,
for instance the
economy is a hoax.
insurer socks random
sufficient they are
influential hurricanes,
influenza clings to
their leg like political
chalice catastrophe
verse, up to its dis
aster in nonapostrophe.

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