Thursday, April 9, 2020

Tom McDade - Two Poems

1. A Shock of Oil and Color

Framed here as naked as Godiva is a damsel, 
crotch welded in imminent climax and firm 
breasts like pleasant spurs; face full of ecstasy, 
her steed assigned the frenzied role. 
How closely allied are ecstasy and frenzy? 
That stud is the shade of the purest chocolate 
and this rider might be planning a way to slip 
under him to enjoy his sweet thrusts 
with hope of birthing a female satyr. 
` She’s fair-skinned and her long, blazing hair mimics 
his shaggy mane.  What is with this flying equine, 
eye crazed and froth spilling from his mouth? 
No chance we have a filly or mare, sheath quite 
visible. Is he reacting to the weight of this
Rubenesque beauty? Wait a minute – 
that belly. Has he done the deed? Is he attempting 
to flee? My God, his front legs are like those 
on a monster film horsefly. Away from this shock
of oil and color: what fantasies, what rolls 
in the hay, what nightmares.

Thomas M. McDade

2. Merc Park 

If I am dreamed but once, I have access to memories. 
I slip through 
delicate seams, 
make myself handsome 
forget this lifetime 
of cuteness. 
I fell from the castle 
and lived 
when Sinatra still knew 
all the lyrics 
to “Funny Valentine.” 
I drank Thunderbird 
with a madman 
sporting razor hooks 
for hands. 
The bikers fear him! 
I hotwire a Merc, dull grey, lowered, louvered 
4 on the floor skirts 
hellfire decals everywhere hubcaps silver moons 
a plaque dangling off the rear tag 
that sparks the road 
when the clutch goes pop! 
There is a suicide knob 
where a beautiful woman lives. 
The thought of her launches duck-tailed knights 
into frenzied dances on high voltage wires. 
Suddenly she appears in a holy light 
filtered through lenses of Budweiser glass. 
She is a saint lighting candles on the hood 
with spaghetti sticks 
for the IRA dead, 
a runt calico kitten 
hisses from her shoulder. 
We ride to Twila’s 
trendy tattoo salon. Bells of Ireland 
drawn on our necks. She says she cares 
and grips my arm strong as Jack Daniels. 
Sparks trail the Merc like fireflies or passion 
of beaches, graveyard grass. 
And wouldn’t the Druids book 
us passage on a hot air balloon 
across the Irish Sea?  Take us to a castle 
where her blood 
will find good pace 
and if there is no chair or bed 
the stone floor will soften 
like the headstones of soldiers 
and writers under prayer. 
I stare into her eyes as if they were crystal 
hanging from the rear view in a New Age van 
and incense seeps through 
the floorboards like an  
aroma of Kent cigarette. 
The radio crooner sings of a dame, 
a tall drink of Ballantine 
slick as Tru-Ade Grape. 
Then Father Knickerbocker interrupts 
with a sermon says it’s okay for cripples to ride 
boxcars and play harmonicas 
to the wind blowing 
through their braces like hymns. 
He adds that all distillery profits 
should benefit the homeless. 
Hooker shows up to carve our initials 
in a tree spelling 
“In dreams find memory.” 
He claims he can croon 
“Valentine” straight through, prosthesis for a microphone, 
but the melody would ring rather false 
with classic beauty around. 
He pulls a Polaroid 
from under a passing swan’s wing. 
Snapping her picture 
a hundred times, 
she does not protest 
but allows just profile. 
I watch her develop 
for hours 
silent as a hex bolt 
as she became each time 
shiny and crispy. 
We feed the loons 
trail mix and bagels until she disappears. 
The photos are nothing but unpublished poems 
with names of Triple Crown winners for titles. 
My belles of Ireland cause rashes. 
The Merc turns into a picnic table where the madman 
crosses his metallics  and she returns 
in a silver sedan. 
Surely what’s spoken 
in tongues through a Buick window 
is grand – 
goes without saying. 

Thomas M. McDade 

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