I read and write poetry whenever and wherever possible. My published poems include “Spring Gift” in the anthology Arizona’s Best Emerging Poets, “List of Lists” in The Tunnels (Spring 2016), “Dublin” in Burningword Literary Journal (Fall 2015), and “Portrait of the city as a Love Story” and “Fatherhood” in NEAT (Summer 2015). Below you will find a few samples of my poetry. Feel free to read them and comment as you wish.
Broken Buddhas Carpe Nix
Still awake, I stare There may be no good days to be useless,
at wooden figures but what use is today
religious icons when it snows three inches, when professors
sitting on my shelf.
If my buddhas work grow pale over glasses of wine,
I’ll wake up on time
but if not I’ll dream when coffee shops contract like muscles
I’m a butterfly. as students file in one by one
If my buddhas break preparing for public execution
I’ll email my soul sanctioned by professors
to myself in case with sharp wine on their breath?
I crash, splinter shards
like leaves under boots. What good is today
I’d also email over any other day
my buddhas if they when we can’t make snow angels together
would stop running off because there are convoluted superstructures
with my jesuses to deconstruct into postmodernity?
in butterfly pairs
one fat, the other But I insist on today’s uselessness. I lean in
skeletal, both brown and whisper to you that you need not
wooden men gnarled sever your ear and mail it to the Dean
from some dried up log of Arts and Letters for inspection.
sneaking off at night
behind my alarm, That can wait, but
or bathing in wine snow angels dance only for so long
shoulders on the rim before curling up in blankets of mud,
of the glass, like teeth, just as you and I will curl up beneath six feet
both heads reclining of fattened worms and swollen soil.
thrown back in laughter Today it snows voraciously
as they remember
just how much money and you spend three hours conducting surgery
I spent buying them. on Albert Camus’s footnotes.
Let them soak for a while in Chardonnay.
The snow angels are calling to us,
announcing a need for dance partners
atop their moistened deathbeds.
Today is a fine day to be useless,
even though coffee-stained idols
must be composed for wine-drunk priests
holding the keys to our future.
But what good is a field of grass
beneath three inches of snow,
or a poet beneath a tombstone?
No more useful than warm fingers,
smooth hands, or sloping shoulders
if they freeze holding a pen
tucked indignantly over the nail-solid logic
of how useless it is to be useful for so long.
Funeral March for Gabo Birthday Poem for Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Your life must have begun Dear Gabo,
when death rang the doorbell. Thank you for showing me
You shook hands that even if angels did plummet to Earth,
in a business deal we would probably treat them
and negotiated terms and conditions. as we treat all strangers. Thank you
What did death’s suitcase smell like? for your humor and your
Was there the mold observations on the banality of life,
that comes with stillness, which is our own fault. We may
or was it more like the dew in fact be in the company of angels,
licking the flowers left on gravestones? but we would not notice.
That must be when life began, We take the magic of this world for granted,
when you signed a contract just as we would take real magic for granted.
in red letter day ink I can listen to music from a tiny, shining box
there on your doorstep. through two buds connected by a smooth, white rope,
Who else could have lived so fully and I take it for granted. I can travel
without first dealing with death? to your country and visit you
You must have forgotten by hopping on a winged ship
where you’d left the contract years later, with a thousand travelers,
on the table near the fruit bowl, and I take it for granted. I can write
beneath your books or letters, a letter to you on a humming typewriter
or misplaced somewhere powered by manufactured lightning
in your own seasoned suitcase. extracted from three holes in the wall
When the contractors arrived through plastic and metal plumbing,
you probably made them coffee then send that letter through space and time
while they waited for you to locate to an ethereal cloud encompassing the planet,
your death certificate beneath your fan letters with the possibility of you reading it.
and photographs and rough drafts. As a writer, you made beautiful
They waited patiently that which was ugly
as you danced around the room and ugly that which was beautiful,
unpacking the puzzle-work of your life. and you exposed
I’m sure you smiled the underestimated incompleteness
when you finally found the contract. of the world. For that, I am grateful.
That’s how you left the world, Gabo, Sincerely,
by bragging to death JK.
about the masterpiece you made of your life.
All poems and photographs are copyrighted work of Keene Short, 2018. Thank you.