More Poems by Teg George

All Morning

the deer lie
(on their bellies)
on our hill's terrace
and chew
--what, I don't know.
I throw bread
on the hill, sometimes.
Maybe, they've found
tortillas I've thrown,
or rotten potatoes,
sprouted onions.

Asa Nisi Masa

stickiness the glue
sap or flour and water
simple jizz zoom
and there it is!
stinking of garlic
if that's the night's repast
unroped in ropes that stick
blessed with this gummy mess
stressed and unstressed
prodded
sap from wounds
a brood mingling and rising
as some unholy feat waferlike
the body daubed overmuch
with dough and spent
the sin of too much oil
water and milk and not enough
flour paste unless
kneaded

Bird

came down the walk,
man. Boy,
was she down,
hop, hopping
like the one-legged sea captain
who chases
lesbians on shore
leave, leaving
like the beads of rain, of dew,
man. Boy,
that bird was down,
hop, hopping
like that captain, my captain,
rowing rows
of lesbian lovers
through air.

Club of Man

I liked that light that filters
through the fog and shines on spots
of dew, and I walked in the night
that closes where the 4th wave
is really the last wave
(where Cubans who survive
on homemade rum
imagine tippling on the Champs-Elysees
where the free market will
become the marquetry
under the workers' boots)
chasing you through the dunes
past the subs
along the channel
on the jetty
then out
waves crashing around me
--no. way. to. climb. up.
You're reaching down to help me.
The rocks are cutting me up.
Twice, my feet stuck, you pull me up.
You pour Strawberry Hill on my wounds
--our Club of Man towels stained
red and brown.

Cosmos

this black matter
that bends starlight?
nothing but blinking

like the sprinkles
over a campfire
where the shaman

tries to trap
us with his song?
old stars, like crumbs

of leftover magic
fed to Black Masses
beyond our galaxy,

beyond Fourier?
maybe they are
holes, sprinkled

on the fires
of our eyes?
our eyes?

Craw

Caw caw wing ing soot
matched tit by tit
with dun leaves
sprinkled out of trees
milky
sky split moon half hoed
till bird
eyes eye out caw caw street
with a split squirrel shoveled
upend to the woods
sip sip
craw flung

Drown Yourself in Garcia Lorca

And lament Times Square squares
Who hide certain Declivities of tasseled penises
Behind windows in Westchester and dream
Of Todd Oldham, like tazzeled cigars for the smoke of:--What vision?
You could ask Garcia--the humdrum is not to be hated!
How much Invention has calmed our generation generation
Screens have circumnavigated like Shoji over round
Hot hots filled with bubble Laughter
We kiss our tasseled penises
--Our second guesses, our Benedrine and feces handed down as heirlooms,
Smoking shoji belonging to the Multitude who blamed God for Todd Oldham.

Dustbin

In our garage, we have a dustbin full
of old boards that we have promised to sand,

shape, or use somehow but know they had best
wait. Cedar ones spurn us--we can tell when

their odor, pungent yet friendly, swims beyond
us as we try to sniff them. Pine, also.

Only the anonymous wood--paint thickened
--springs to our touch as though it knows when its

time is ripe we will rise to it, sander
at hand, shape in mind. But they are all wrong.

We don't have a dream for them except, 'dustbin.'

Election

Because I am always talking, my friend wants
me to run for president: "What harm could
you do?" I'm not charming, but she says, "O,
you, you're so sweet, the apples fall off trees

from envy." That may be, but men who have
election don't suffer from sweetness, don't
string themselves along, don't envelop their
wives, don't hug the dog nor hunt the gecko.

Men who win have the moon in one eye
and the sun in the other. Their ears are
shells from deep sea trenches. Their noses,
trowels that dig up our musty potatoes.

And their teeth, their teeth have more calcium
then mine--when they smile, one hundred flashes
can't outshine them. "So what," my friend says, "Put
on a horsehair shirt and run the desert

--grow a new soul, bright from inside out."

Eros

around the world
: the eyes have it

Fr.

Hic, hoc, host, you're leaning on a ghost.
"Innocently," you say, but always
as a Mystery Play:--always inner circles,
worlds of stately purples, vestments
aligned just so, the altar guild in a row.
Think aloud too soon, your bishop will
halve your surplice like a macaroon
and splice his girdle to your pizzle.

Friend

My nose is too big,
I tell my friend,
and she says, "Get some
horns, too." But I am
always horny.

She says, "Fine, fine,
fine, go get yourself
a lady whose hair
is as black and curly
as yours. Go get you

a lady with skin
freckled like yours.
Get your self for as
much as you're worth."
And I get myself,

and she leaves me.
"Where were your fangs?"
She asks. "You get some
fangs and I'll never
go away." So I

grow some fangs then get
myself again
and again. This, what
it was like to get
myself again.

Goats

Goats are eating my impatiens, my iris,
my comfrey, sinking hooves into my thighs,

crawling through my hair. Goats with an eye on my
corn and the other staring at the sun,

are swinging on my hammock, stitching up
my jeans. Goats in my buddy's etchings have

two eyes on the same sides of their faces.
Goats have their way with me, ballet with me.

Their overtures out-Verdi Verdi.
Their concertos make marimbas out

of daffodils. When they finish with me,
they're not really finished--even our mayor

must hose off the god on his lawn--cause goats
aren't done till they've gnawed my town apart

and done the can-can with the roadhouse gang.

Grace

that same path—red clay
covered with cinders
—she carried the roses
I’d sent her—white, yellow, and red
—clutched to her bosom
my happiness
—a place we’d sprung from!
a country given to burying
its heroes facedown
in the ground—like tulip
bulbs their feet
would sprout—many faces
deep, congregations
of supplicants came
at odd hours of morning
to sprinkle these toes
with oil and lemon
so that nails would hang
limply as they grew
—I watched her walking
dripping roses
petals mixing with cinders
then clutched her to me
expecting

Grand Mal

hunch for a trainwreck
or train robbery
--Glendale philanthropy,
Sparks' herpetology,
tiny oopsy in da head,
an erratic ignition,
delusion of grandeur,
a moon shot,
or Mars landing,
seizure--stumper,
semper Sedona,
distemper,
mush or scrapple,
a scrunch,
a spleen burst,
elicit fobbery,
gargantuan snobbery
--a partial speck,
spermatozoic premonition
--explosion of murmurs,
avalanche of protuberances,
Holst hotties,
antediluvian perihelions,
dismember or dat one,
freak temper or frat one,
anythings' antibodies,
cod toddies,
lump bumpers'
lumps

Hands

when I hold your hands
it's love
when I hold my hands
it's prayer
I feel my fingers slip
through my fingers
when I let go
I want to hold my hands up
up to offer something
because my fingers slip
through each other and flesh
feels
so much like flesh that I want
to offer something up
up because flesh could slip
forever
so my hands hold each other
again
hard
because I'm afraid
and I love your hands

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

in the woodland
no doubletime
or quick march
matches falling
hanging swinging
squirrels who scatter
leaves twigs
branches shaking
as they somersault
after each other
to decide who
will govern this
hemlock dying
even as they
struggle to rule it

Horoscope

reads "nobody" born this day
has a hand in it
"pep"
virgo
all her life destined to no
body
Mary
mope
handling it like so
and so
all her
dolor
sour
as the lemon flower

Man who Came to Dinner

just as we expected
God is like Jimmy Durante
full of trickery and loathing
eager to assuage
eager to tease
even the best looking of us
will have to watch our backs
because he is ready to poke
or prod us to wrong right
actions we haven't blocked
scripts we'll never memorize
and when we're not looking
he'll have pharaoh's coffin
at hand to use as a phone
booth for our last call

Man who Fell to Earth

once upon a time we watched Bowie
slink across the wall at DC Space
search for a clear glass of still
water and let his mind wander
back to that barren sandscape
that might have been Mars or Mojave
whichever he's just escaped or abandoned
as the first trans trans hermaphro
spacedude allowed to splash himself
onto 35mm without priors or bona
fides to represent his talent as strictly
celeb no vita attached nor no resume
backing a headshot presented to Warners
et Fils instead spread out pistol forth
and glass backward waiting to be
filled at some trough deep in the desert
like another alien in "Petrified Forest"
Leslie Howard he returns love for lead

News

"So I'm tough to work
with?" our friend asks
and pretends this is
news to him

--though people the world
over have been trying
to tell him this, and year
after year they line
up on the first Wednesday
of November to shout

over our town's only
callbox to his ear:
"Hard, damn hard"
--we don't know why,

but when it's meet
we'll treat each other
to bagels and coffee,
and he'll ask us again,

"Am I tough?"
"Tough like a horn,"
we'll say, "Tough like big
freaking cow horns

with that strap of leather
down the middle, so tough
the cowboys piss when
they see you
stampede their way

--you're so tough
you don't know."

Nought

How long can she endure
her own poems? A sheep
in sheep's clothing, she heaps

simple on simplicity
until the only word
left is 'snout' but even

that becomes 'out' then 'O'
entitled "Song" then "O"
which itself amounts 0

--perhaps what she'd always
sought--the cipher, or hole,
or empty whoosh like chimes

in the temple heard struck
by sticks--:or that gong hit
by a huge mallet sent

swinging--:a wild soda
can hollowed by her poems'
enormous thirst--:ahhh!

Painter

What a position to put myself,
hanging over the eaves and slapping

paint on what, I couldn't see--my mother's
friend's husband holding on to my ankles.

I didn't think to ask him him being
my boss for the day why he didn't hang

his sorry ass off that roof to earn
a buck--whether labor laws allowed

a sixteen-year-old to housepaint--brainless,
what is more to the point, all I wanted

was lunch free, cash, and my ganja pipe full.

Patrick

Homecoming never gets
easier, and each time new heirlooms
you take away like Bibles
deep scarred with family births
and deaths and close relations
struck by snakes

of all things!

Get out!

Blood boils from their venom,
Hell's death, fire that burns
but never consumes.

It's not a task for a master
come home from India
nor a saint late of Rome
to cast out these close relations
who've gone giddy over fangs.

Quo Vadis

we cowered in the boat's bottom
and waited for the storm's passing

God on the water walking toward us
spreading his hands to hide lightning

from our faces
I shook

we were all wracked
and there was no bravery among us

the mind cannot know
what the mind cannot know

Saving the Honour of My God

who would want
to be king know

ing threats stand
around the throne

queen bishop not
that one should

think one's accom
plices guilty nor

should one look in
to the next square

too deeply as all
are dark then light

at odds then even
ur clerks ur serfs

ur court ur keep
ur chapel ur Lady

is waiting

Secret of Roan Inish

who was snot green
and held up to the moon
who was born in Pisces
with scales on elbows
and webs between fingers
bowlegged from plowing
knees shot from puddling
who's born on the cusp
of Aquarius with kidneys
afloat and bladder ill at ease
or clogged and pinched
and screaming from stones
unwilling to whiz
who's wed to the sea
to salmon and kippers
to surf and to turf
whose father caught fish
by wading into rivers
out far out deep
stringers of trout
and redfish clipped
to his boots
who swam along shore
sat in thunder
watched devil rays'
tails swinging
skin on the shingle
liquid dream
green

Sign(s)ngiS

Your snooze button deactivates
your alarm's sleep function.
Your coffee maker misses its carafe,
and your toaster burns bagels.
Your motorcar's check engine light
means bad gas or bad computer.
Your office park has no spaces,
and your cube has no depth.
Your brown bag holds a Lean
Pocket and a smoothie.
Your boss wants you to give her
a hand so you can get a leg up.
Your television screens electrons
while your radio beams neocons.
Your Sox can be Red or White,
but your Cubs can't be Bears.
Your Italian bread's made in California,
and your Camembert, in Wisconsin.
Your beer bottle isn't recognized
by the redemption machine.
Your soap on a rope disintegrates
beneath your shower massage.
Your plans are put to bed
at the end of the day.

Somme

just then I died
or passed out
every thing came clear
what to do
how to be
where to go
see?
all these big answers
then I got
kaput
(not haywire
I had wired
but who's to know)
son

Speak of the Dead

1

Dorothy will prepare the trout
that Tony snagged. Save the heads for stock.

Mabel wants to use fennel
instead of celery in the stock, dear.

Frieda argues that trout
isn't a fine enough fish for stock:--not white.

Georgia says one reduces
stock more in New York --Oyster House, remember?

If you must do charades this evening,
mop your brow with fennel, dear.

Georgia is outside under your tree
--why?--what's she doing? --praying, or . . .

No one's asked you what you think
of Pablo or Paul, and that's a pity.

One can't believe, looking at your
paintings, you know anything about art.

Gargano can't be better
with tomato than Santa Fe, you know.

Before "La Dolce Vita" there
was la dolce Kiowa Ranch--eh? . . .

Gin gives you gas, rum, constipation,
and whisky has you on your knees.

But soon must you abandon
your new home for Europe,--September,--this year.

Brett, Mabel, and Frieda vie for your attention
--you'd rather bake bread.

The rosy cast of the bread's crust
reminds you of stucco, so you muse.

All hot and bothered then abrupt
not a recipe for love much less . . .

Staring at that sun through lead glass windows
really does nothing for you.

You must believe in your writing though critics may
shit on it,--sit,--write.

Your poems are presents without irony,
with pasts,--write, then have lunch.

2

Morning hurts so that Frieda
can't bear being near you or your moaning.

Go, punctuate your spiritual dearth by dancing
on your car's roof--start it!

How strange to be putting,
sputtering in a Ford when you could hike it.

If you could breathe well, that is,
--yet the air here draws you up, fills your heart.

Here, this wind is your spirit,
--sugar that rises, --oxygen to limbs.

Your soul, your deep, inner
sweetness springs even to your fingertips, nails.

Park at the lookout
outside the ruins: remember, fill your canteen.

Clean your pockets
before the trailhead then listen to coyotes cry.

Sandstone runs close to the road
and steel nets hold back the mountain,--it slides.

Darker veins could be
igneous:--the hills ride over a caldera.

Above the canyon, you follow paths
littered with bones then pause inside.

One cannot long look into the sun
or black dots your view :--you know this.

Yet you stare at the sunset
as though it were your papa gone to ground.

The sunset rays your vista with red
as one white thunderhead passes.

The cloud pierces the dark blue sky with lightning
and shimmers sheets of rain.

After it rains, spider
webs glisten upon the fallen pine needles.

Ladders crosshatch adobe
walls and frame tufts of cotton that blow past.

No longer will macaws brighten
their rooms nor will corn fill their great houses.

Don't slip off the cliff tonight--Dorothy will
not look for you, again.

Stars

what of these stars
that line our flowers,
pale against blue,

some brown on red,
have a message for us,
but don't leap

nor shout, don't flicker
call attention, but not
for our sake

what in them disturbs
the bees to stimulate
then tweak the dust

that bears more stars,
ingests our blues,
our reds, our flesh

Thanatos

All men are born; all men die.
Mother is the invention of necessity.

This Body, This Voice

1

Examples of this body
are everywhere and here
under a table, the loose bits
of skin torn from its psoriatic
elbows and hips, peelings
like fish scales in the drain

if only it were skin
from some golden apple
bare to any mouth,
to a girl
who takes it
in her hands
and bites,
heedless,
yet full

2

This voice: like bells
bells like flowers, petals
like soft keys played
in some concerto not
written for them,
but somehow just them

just this, a tiny piece
that rings
like sunshine,
like peals
of green glass tinkling,
broken by skin,
sent through a metal
wand,
to air

Vermont Summer

Over the summer, Ida made Bob chop seven
cords of wood for winter. Every morning
Bob went to the outhouse to hide from Ida's
brothers and her. He read the funnies or drew
on the walls. Soon he would have to mow
the fields, too--the brothers would be off
fixing roofs. By August, we stopped
in to fix chicken curry for them on their
Franklin Stove. That wood stove heated
their water, too--a tank hung on the stovepipe
and hot water funneled from that tank
to all bathrooms and to the kitchen sink.

Wailing for Her Demon-Lover

When did the mystery
of possession first possess
us like Socrates' daemon
dancing on his crystalline
questions or the Holy
Ghost taking a coffee
break before reaching
reaching into those hearts
until now barred from It
by thoughts decaffeinated
chronically desperate
through disparate straits
not negotiable not
penetrated by captain's
hook nor recognizable
to anyone but the seediest
devotee of Isis or elegantly
frocked Mrs. Winthrop
oracle to the Red Hat
Club of Delphi, K.Y.

Winter Sounds

Neighbors, schmabors, who cares
about neighbors? I didn't
when I was seven. I used to stand
on our porch and pretend I was a wolf.
I'd howl like White Fang.
All our neighbors would cringe
behind their walls, peek through their blinds,
slam doors, growl at their beagles.
But I'd "woo woo" until Mom made
me come, face frosted, to bathe
away my muzzle's grit, my verminy odor
from chomping tiny bones, tiny hearts,
tiny neighbors.

Witches of Eastwick

all your charms
are babies' arms
and all your legs
are stiff beaten eggs
swirled to milt
baked to angel silk
and all your sweets
are linked meats
and all your cars
are fine Roman stars
hitched to Maypoles
launched at Newport's
lights and all your jealousy
can bind my hinds
can bait my bears
and seize wolverines
and all your charms
are baby's arms
ringing my neck
to strangle me

Women Come and Go

In the Sistine Chapel, Adam's penis
and scrotum are so tiny before Creation
that, I guess, Michelangelo must have

known Adam to be a boy in that moment
before God touched his need to create.
Then what happens? Does he remain boy

or taste the fruit of knowledge:--that creation
means bringing both Cain and Abel from one's
loins? Then his penis should probably grow

huge before the artist covers it in gold leaf.
I guess all our penises should grow huge
a few times before the Artist covers us.

You Sun

so peach colored,
brimming
with heat, sore
when white,

how your corona
cleanses you
--as geese wash
themselves in a pond,

preen next to cypress,
rising through your zenith,
spreading orange then yellow,
white through greyish clouds,

how unusual the spots,
how lovely in bright gas,
not burning metal,
not clothed in fire,

--allowed to look at you
only for an instant,
our eyes sing
all night long.

Poems by Teg George

Poems

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