Dale Jensen

Tvo Ices Onna Phone

tha tvo ice
le ft ont here c or ding oft he robocall
i son lyt    ry in g toe    sca pe

goah e ad    er asei t
iti sth eon ly wa y
itca nm akeit ba ckt o th eclo uds 

Luck of a Duck

a two-storey dark time
floating above a little river of
belief death    was still an open wound

    he’d even drunk it nickels and dimes

he was inside itself    almost inside the walls
luck of a duck someone he didn’t know would say
another knock near the door and he knew
what gaunt would look like with a family

    hey    ichthyologist
    is that you?
    your fins aren’t feet yet
    and where are those tire tracks
    you’re working on?

a bugle would recognize your footprints from across the street
the fish you’re looking for is at its own graduation party
the river that you baptized with oil still has green hair
the shaman’s last guitar is a baby
that though now skinny now edited whole rooms once
that you quack quack    oh glory    quack quack
yrolg ho    quack quack    kcauq kcauq
quack spells it all both ways sometimes 
he was inside himself the river in his veins
duck luck    floating    lucky duck    lucky duck

Looking for the Sky

on cLoudy nIGHTs
wheN sIGHT of the sky haS ENDed
the STARS too may be SLEEPing

NOBODY around here KNOWS
What thE stars aRE really up to

I am All aLONE under my BLANKet of cloud
MY WHOLE WORLD is smaller than EVER
i am Two yEARS old again
YOUnger siblings are SEEking ME
TRYing to exiST

tHE stARs are asking Their parents
the Sun and the mOON    ARE YOU ALONE TOO?


th ebri cks fro    mth ew all
ofm    yfav orit ec off
e eh o use
    that’s now shut down
arebeg gingon thest re et

give us a building    gi veus abu
ildi n g ifno tle tust
a ke ov er    thewh ole a venue
evenab lock ev ena cr
ossw a lk i fyo ul ove
u st hat mu ch if yo u
lo veus tha tm uch

The Gremlin’s Feet

don’t know who is keeps doing that summertime
all hazelnuts off vacation
somewhere in the clock turns purple when
the second hand rounds sixty-five

what a kingly way to come home

    the gremlin has feet like a chicken
    off work now
    and it gets cold here at the north pole
    he leans back against a lamp post his
    hands in his pockets and
    whatever it is that’s across the street shines
    against the cool diamonds of the blacktop

someone    years later
is sneaking up behind him with a dark alley

the dust rises and sinks like the
whole world is breathing    its inhales and exhales
seem like they come from a century ago
things regular the way you think they were then
so in that way believe that order is kept tomorrow
he’s still under the streetlamp
if it were warmer and clearer he’d be flipping a coin
the watchman watches him from someone else’s ego
then watches the sky    older now    wishes for clouds

Dale Jensen was born in Oakland, California, graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1971, and received a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the University of Toronto in 1973, with which he said goodbye to academia forever. In 1974, he embarked on a career with Social Security that lasted until 1999, when he took early retirement. He lives in Berkeley and is married to the poet Judy Wells.

His poetry, which is heavily influenced by the Surrealists and such cut-up writers as William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, has appeared in such magazines, journals, and anthologies as Talisman, Lost and Found Times, Ur-Vox, Poetry East, Inkblot, Convolvulus, Dirigible, and many others. He published and edited the experimental poetry magazine Malthus from 1986 through 1989 and continues to very occasionally publish books through Malthus Press. He also has published seven books and five chapbooks of poetry: Thebes (1991), Bar Room Ballads (1992), The Troubles (1993), Twisted History (1999), Purgatorial (2004), Cyclone Fence (2007), Oedipus’ First Lover (2009), Auto Bio (2010), Yew Nork (2014), Amateur Mythology (2017), Trump Tics (2020), and Some Coffeehouse Poems (2022), as well as an ebook novella, Why I Moved to San Francisco (2017).
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home