for Robert Peters
Your poems are the eyes
that make worms smile.
through invisible branches.
Children playing with wire thin rope
that will one day choke them
into middle-aged fears
of death and orgasm.
onto a blood-stained leg
that is really a clock
disguised as an avalanche.
WAITING IN THE WINGS
The saber-toothed dogs are barking in hell
and I'm alone outside the door.
Could this be an old movie
I forgot to erase?
Could it be my life
as I thought it would be
if I didn't say thank you
to those who brought gifts?
I feel like eating a penguin on seaweed
and washing it down
with a bottle of marbles.
From there it could be anything
from a waltz to a tango--
even a watussi!
At least the natives seem friendly today.
They say they'll pay for any fresh meat
in shells and women.
What could be better
I think to myself
as I give them my fingers and my toes.
I'm ready to be lucky
after all this time
waiting in the wings.
Reading his poetry
makes me want to commit desperate acts,
check into a mental institution,
or be the 1, 647th person to jump
from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Could there be hope
in a pool of inflammation,
in a room where someone with eyes like saucers
is watching you bleed onto an oriental carpet.
If only you could rise beyond what you feel
where there's no tomorrow,
where the raging clouds
can't out spell out your name
and the mourners can't arrive
because of the hill
that separates an ocean.
No one predicted it would be so dark
and simultaneously so absurd,
that the girl in the blue dress
would bury her doll
in a pile of ashes.
Everything is closed
and the faces are expressionless.
An umbrella opens
and a man runs in circles,
while another points his fingers to his eyes.
You just lie there looking up at the sky
as if were a lake into which you would dive
if you were wearing a swimsuit.
Instead you lie there for all eternity
thinking about your mother
and sometimes your father,
wishing you were never born.
Jeffrey Zable has published poetry and prose in many magazines and anthologies including New York Quarterly, Caliban, Wormwood Review, and Mudfish. He's published five chapbooks including Zable's Fables with an introduction by the late great Beat poet Harold Nose. Present or upcoming work in Mas Tequila, Epigraph, Subliminal Interiors,Toad Suck Review, Owen Wister Review, Clackamas Literary Magazine, Yellow FoxQuarterly, and others.