Sunday, June 2, 2013

poems || Philip Byron Oakes

Logger Heads

Enfranchising enemies as co-dependents,
lip servicing a kiss tending the tug of war.
A misfit in the shoulders clenched to muzzle
treasure. The taste good to go the way of
the worm to the core of the problem.
Stifling the monotones with a splash of gray.
Rough edges to a scent crossing deserts, to
gather a flock in chorus. Muted to meld into
a text of the everyday, to set it right about
the time the lights go out. Battle cries for
equality in a motherland’s eyes, trained on
the dancing bears fishing for peanuts in the
breeze. As it could have been, somewhere,
between the colors worn to shoo the flies
to better worlds. In any one of which the
beancounters come out on top of the sum,
to say the clouds have won the day. To
christen the clarity of crosshairs. Letting
the grist speak for itself. Tamping the glare
in an eye for the vibrant, squinting the
mirages true in fictions of light the
shadows sell to tourists.
Foretelling the arrival
of always the one
and the same.


A city from the ground up an alley cleaving haves
from knots in threads wound bright. Enveloping
earth tones at a core of mooted paradigms, goading
caricatures to fill the void. Put words in the mouth
of a marquee, nipping a litany in the bud of coming
attractions to the rush of traffic in the air. The push
and shove of light keeping eyes to the grindstone of
imagery, to dazzle the rubes stepping off of curbs into
trouble. The stuff of which way home grown heavy in
the crossing the babylons between the hedges. The
neon summons of the fluid to join the effect of
unknown causes, for the allure of the lostness that
stolen freedoms leave behind. As legacy forming
the fundament of which way to turn invisible
when the nimbi finally make it right.

Rickety Circles

Pulp beaten to fetish in all an act three,
to pander bare of graces concocted from
rhythm. Vortex failing echo lips, spun
worn said weary of what would be if it
weren’t, for a sitting position on death
and taxes. A reward for blue streaks
beneath a violet crown, topping off a
blush at the sight of what’s fixed in the
faces of toy soldiers. The color of
feathers worn in hats changing minds
in so far as they matter, in choosing
what best to wear in order to
complement the grandeur of the
finale at the moment of

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