Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Poetry By Jon Riccio

Jon Riccio studied viola performance at Oberlin College and the Cleveland Institute of Music. A PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers, forthcoming poems appear in Jazz Cigarette and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. A contributing interviewer for Sonora Review, he received his MFA from the University of Arizona.

On Forging a Neptunian Watermark
Billfold in formaldehyde,
counterfeit like mâché constellating a map
reminiscent of a job where I waterproofed the sun.

Suppose working from home had me selling organs, 
Foremans, garrets that turned grills into drones.

There’d be serials and flares, 
Cepheus in the laundry chute, 
Washington crossing a towel rack immune to ink.

Suppose we wished upon a watermark 
or a pint of Interpol flecked with Franklin mint, 
hands sprinkling cursive after the salt ran out. 

What if we took the security threads 
and clustered them in Fermi’s wallet?

Suborned the upholstery 
till it collided with a quadrant?
These questions, no reserves (obsidian or federal), 
slabs of Hamilton suffocating the Neptune 
out of decriminalized broth
in the two-dollar hall of fame
next to the antimacassars of fraudsters 
and furniture makers alike.

There’s a showroom on every planet,

a Saturnine checkbook, 
Jovian debit,
coronal’s economy discharged,

unidentified gurus 
on reams of dead green men,

their stars looking 
so run.

Cauterize Origin, Mortar as Necessary

Condensation glamorizes an exit ramp,
somewhere a vendor of tongue depressors
has fallen for a trucker of medical waste.
Younger, I feared for the electric chair
deliveryman, the kilowatt flume when
his Volkswagen flooded. Who’d teach
me optimism by resignment like that 
time we essayed the checkout woman’s 
prison of Mentos contrasted with a kilo 
of Icy Hot? Memo to my six-year-old 
self overpowered by driver’s license 
Mike, he is Nabisco at best.

Mix fuchsia with phone psychics, dab 
a little QVC and my family has its branch, 
I told the concertmaster whose marrow 
almost matched – the cimbalom he made 
of my chakras – a steeple builder taken 
with a chimneysweep, the plot of an opera 
I produce best. Younger, I pondered the ferrous 
to evaporate an abuse, now I’m transfixed 
by a For Sale sign losing its third icicle 
this week, something reptoid about 
the ability to grow weather back.

Consider me sectarian mayoral, 
the manger boarded in City Hall 
ten months out of twelve next to 
decommissioned sheep. Consider me 
schooling a herald’s nadir, the nature 
of a grudge purer than a tick bite 
to a match. For my brother, you are 
baseline absolved, the lecture on a lifespan 
in bleach given where door prizes 
and asbestos meet. Southwestern living 
taught me what I make up in unconditional 
I lack in swagger. Younger, my carpool 
a man who left his rickshaw for a wife, 
her transformation from hairdresser 
to cenotaph complete. In my antique store, 
a lifetime of Sigourney Weaver on VHS, 
a hot tub where clay beats consignment,
the stymied end I de-namor best.  


Olfactory, I christen the garbage
historian clutching feldspar
on a barge whose scent politics
dictates one orchid’s Reykjavik
is a Budapest’s phlox.

Oligarchy, a raincheck in the hotel
where Hughes was void and tsar.
If there was a prize-song for shut-ins
you’d lock it in the trunk of moving-day food;
exile, more lifestyle than those agoraphobia
brochures would have us believe. 
An elevator deconstructs thirteen

olestra microns adorning a gravy boat’s gem 
nebula, its ratio of carcass to collector’s plate 
featuring Tchaikovsky’s beard rendered in lead 
paint. No sash for Ms. Thanksgiving but the ladle of

oleander comportment, 
its remnants a strobe kite’s 
dust strife. In the disco it’s Dress 
as a Benjamin Night and I’m charading 
a freemason’s quitclaim on a planetarium 
erected over astrolabe ash. In Phobos we 
truss the pill-splitter’s obecalp, a milligram 
garroted when I choose dairy over 
scriptorium, a locale as

old-fashioned as the composite sketch
artist who age progresses without a computer, 
crow’s feet derived from a stalag’s talcum
hankering for Gospler times, the stage-
setting a jeremiad in which you 
Gideon my smoothie right-left-right.

Olan Mills superseded the daguerreotype,
their gilding finishing our photo-op. Obliged, 
we play Mussorgsky on stemware half-full 
and watch crystal hasten, its orthodoxy a hematite 
crucial to belief: blessings, the salutation – 
erosion, embezzlement, maybe glass.

No comments:

Post a Comment