Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Poem - "Lamp Men Of Midnight"

Okay, not exactly new, but a poem that all but six people have seen in some manner of print. I just thought I would post it finally. I wrote it back in April and performed it at one of the Raving Poets nights pretty much right after writing it. I really like writing these sort of noctunal type poems. Enjoy.

Lamp Men Of Midnight



among the lamp men of midnight, the
shadowed faces cutting headlight eclipses,
silhouettes of the broad-shouldered, chisel-jawed
sucking cherries at the tips of their black cigarettes,

behind the backlit curtains

over street lights,

over the gaudy strips, neon-sign-tin-can-and
candy-stripe alleyways,

over pyrotechnic downtown towers and

over the moon.

We are drinking tea out of eggshell cups with
deft fingers surgeon-like in dexterity (they
play pianos in contemporary speak-easy’s and
carve pornographic legends from scores of sexual
conquests in anonymous doorways and elevators), and
are counting down the finite moments before dawn on
clumsy face watches, infinite estimating, Stephen
Hawking debates that pull intellectual cards never-ending,

making ourselves the extinguishing breed of romantic.

Resigning always, each apex of the morning sun to the
grimness with grimaces that all our hearts calcify
just a little,
we will cease to be musicians, painters, and poets,
Ernest Hemingways or Ernest Borgnines, raunchy
Jesuses and peyote Jim Morrisons,
we will dawn simian suits and
troglodytic postures,
slough our compassionate smiles and arm ourselves
against a sea of disinterest with
stainless steel briefcases and I Hate Mondays oversized coffee mugs.




when you come into the picture, the soft
lips from last night that say until later, mon chere on a
brandy breath that I could hold a lighter to for a torch and
read you Neruda by it, the wisps of hair
that frame a face sinuously, gracefully, echoes from
riverbanks, stirs dreams of velvet Elvises and
being the last loon on a darkened lake,

into daydreams

into the idleness of these balances,

into Hotdogstandia, mall-kiosk-LED-light-keychain-and-
grand-land-of-malcontents pedways,

into pyrotechnic downtown towers and

into the sun.

We were drinking tea out of eggshell cups and the
remembrances of your fingers pulling ghosts out of my skin carefully (they
were regrets accumulated in past lives, jaunts with the chupacabra, the
pig men, the dog men, hash marks on the bed posts where lost loves
were lost, never to be heard from again), and I fell to my knees,
clean, hoping to elicit kisses from your mouth and closure of
your eyes to futility; time was not on our side. It
was clumsy and inaccurate, had to be measured and debated,
had to be quantified instead of qualified,

made ourselves the extinguishing breed of romantic.

Cyclic nature is cyclic nature and the sun goes down as
steadfast as it rises, French kisses the horizon, draws tower-tops in,
puts the factory steams to its belly in billowing clouds before cosmic
fellatio, swallowed whole by the turning of the earth, and these
stuffed collar types, these button-down morning-ham-and-eggers, TPS
report sluggers, walking manilla folder fuckers, well,
they’re all renewed of their romances, given leather devil wings for
another go at immortality, lamp men of midnight, and

your brandy-candy,

pillow-mint mouth of breath is


to be mine all over again.

-Michael Appleby
April, 2007


Adam Snider said...

For some reason, this isn't what I expect this piece to look like on the page.

Good work, though, as usual.

Michael said...

This isn't what it really looks like on the page. I just have a bitch of a time formatting in HTML. The line breaks are the same. What changes when you look at my .doc file is the indentations. I use more dramatic indentations on paper. Drama is all about indentation.