Friday, June 7, 2019

Five Poems By David Spicer

David Spicer has poems in Santa Clara Review, Reed Magazine, Synaeresis, Hamilton Stone Review, Alcatraz, Gargoyle, Yellow Mama, Flatbush Review, Circle Show, The Phoenix, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of Everybody Has a Story and five chapbooks; his latest chapbook is From the Limbs of a Pear Tree (Flutter Press).


for the Purple Bike Lady

Tell me, friend, is Australia angry?
America is. I don’t know why—it has everything:
natives’ stolen land,
enslaved black people,
brown children separated from their parents,
despised yellow people laying ties.
The lynched are angry—their ghosts haunt our history.
Tycoons are angry. I don’t know why—they’re billionaires.
Yes, I do.

Anger, do you have daddy issues?
Do you wake up red-faced every morning
because he favored your brother Jealousy
with his purple-green face?
Did he egg on your sister Fear to boss you?
Did you ever try to please him and couldn’t,
so pimples grew on your cheeks?
Do you adore your cousin Revenge, Anger?
Do you have a heart that’s made of testosterone?

Someone told me Anger is bad for my heart.
My heart isn’t angry.
My brain’s angry.
Angrier than white men losing power.
Angry as innocent inmates with jackal mentors.
Angrier than hungry farmers.
Angry as a girl trapped in a boy’s body.
Angrier than an amputated marathoner.
Angry, like caterpillars sacrificed for butterflies.
Angrier than mothers who’ve buried ten children.
Angry as the man trapped on the moon because he’s lonely.
The man in the moon had a family.

Sometimes I’m angry I don’t get laid enough. That saddens me,
more than a melting chocolate ice cream-ginger-ale float.
more than gazing at the Guernica figures contorted
and cubed in their shades of sad silver, immortal.
Why do you exist, Anger?
Are you Love’s surrogate?

I was born angry, I arrived in the doctor’s cupped hands
ass first just before he spanked it.
But that pissed me off less than my old man’s belt slapping my
butt bending over the bathtub.
Did you have anything to do with that, Anger?
It hurt worse than my mother making me kiss a cactus.

I love you, Anger.
You’ve led me into the clouds like a zeppelin.
I can breathe you, Anger, guiding me, a kite over the Burj Khalifa.

I love an angry woman, too.
Anger’s kept her heart pumping like an overheated generator.
She lives for tomorrow to kiss her like no man can.

Have you looked forward in Anger?
I love you, Anger.
You’ve helped me survive like a commando in quicksand.
He was pure then, a long-haired chanteuse with an eight-girl band,
jet-black hair flowing like Niagara Falls at midnight
with the man in the moon watching.

By the way, the man in the moon’s still angry at the sun
for stealing his light.
Poor man in the moon.
Anger, will you plant a smacker on his mouth sometime?

Will you lead me to the confessional
and help me forgive my little brother’s molester?
Guide me to holy water that tastes like grace?

Anger, I’m done dancing with you:
not another cha-cha about my mama,
no more twists of my psyche—
we’ve tangoed too many times.
You’ve possessed me long enough, my man,
King of the blues guitar I’ve played all my life.

a n t e l o p e

Over poker a hunter told a tall tale:
I knew a woman so fast she was never late
She said she wouldn’t have a wedding just elope

The next guy decided to up the ante
Well, I loved a woman so fast she’d peel
off her clothes in 15 seconds with a rose petal

I passed and rubbed my head like a teen-
age handyman who can’t find his plate
compacter much less his duct tape

The lean blonde dealer with smooth skin tone
said, Guys, I’m so fast you didn’t hear my cards pant


Everybody on the assembly line believed in Ramon
the boss we all liked with his legendary name

King of the hours and lord of this bottle factory manor
when he recited a prayer we chanted an Amen

Ramon our burly master of the conveyor belt form
solving personnel problems far and near

We asked to work less he wanted more
we whined then relented out of fear

Sometimes we clacked bottles and he rocked out the clock from
his hellraising heart and red guitar that bolted like a wild mare 

After all Ramon was a roadie not a Ramone

q u e r u l o u s

To hear them tell it, I’m ugly, mean, and sour
as underwear soaked in pickle juice. Family lore
tells it that once I ate a long-stemmed rose
because my wife said I didn’t know what eros
meant. They all laugh at me, call me a user,
but every one of them has a stinking soul
that smells like a tarred-and-feathered louse.

Yes, I whine like a beat-up punk, I fret, but I rule,          
pouty patriarch I am, aware of my role.
I’m the King of Sore, that’s for damn sure,
and when I’m happy, they call me Loser.

j a c k k n i f e

i carry it whether i’m in a cafĂ©
or in a bath house with my fiancé

i feel safe as a birthday cake not fake
like a clod named Bobby Jack

whose face was a mask of gravel-acne
he knew I knew he was a fink

then one day he kicked my dog Jane
in her big tummy with his red Nike

i said man that wasn’t nice
you’re lucky you carry that cane

I aimed Skinny at his neck

Note: The preceding anagram poems were written in the style of
Terrance Hayes.

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