Poems from 'The Year of Purple Lawn Furniture'

c2001 by J. Kevin Wolfe

 

Rental Car
 

Got the keys? I asked Chuck 
I locked my door in France 
Got the keys? I repeated 
I pressed the knob in Andorra 
Got the keys? I chanted 
I checked the handle in Spain 
 
It's Sunday 
The Pyrenees live 60 kilometers 
from anyplace 
I forget to ask 

The keys sway in the ignition
from the noose of a chain
half a meter 
behind tempered glass 
My Swiss Army knife learns 
how sturdy Peugeots are made 

Two Frenchmen 
leave their picnic, wine and women 
They cram two screwdrivers 
above the window 

Pulling down 
my fingers are in 
Pulling down 
my hand is in 
Pulling down 
my elbow is in 
Pulling down 
the window leaps the track 
thunks into the door 
'Voila' they smile 

It's summer 
Snow flavors the wind 
We have no window 
'I got the keys' 
Chuck says 

------------------------

bad hair day for hitler

a jew beat you hitler 
in the war 
you started 

einstein 
(you missed this one) 
finished it 

your mustache was precise 
his hair misbehaved 
but all the aryan brains 
wouldn't divulge 
his secret to you 

so adolph 
who turned out 
to be the putz? 

------------------------

Eve in Fall

Maples blush 
apples blush 
your cheeks blush 

Bite the fruit Eve 
Then share it 
The drip is cold on my chin 

The serpent lives 
in the track of juice 
and in the hiss of the fireplace 
that will get too warm 
for these sweaters 
 


A 2-Year-Old's Advice to a 23-Month-Old
 

Ask for more 
when your plate is still full 
and you're done eating 

Keep a pocketful of dirt 
After they wash you 
wipe your face with it 
They'll never get 
your magic trick 

Hold your plate upside down 
If food falls off 
gravity still works 
and the world is safe 
so smile 

Ask why? until they shout 
'just because!' 
Checkmate 

The moment the macaroni 
hits the disposal 
scream 
you want it back 

Don't say you need 
to go to the bathroom 
or ask 'are we there yet?' 
They're copyright
by three-year-olds 

Smear dinner on your face 
to cool it
so it doesn't burn your tongue
Then lick it off 

If your eyes get 
big enough around puppies 
they let you pull ears 

Fill your mouth with food 
slowly dribble it down your chin 
It takes practice 
 



The Teaman Appears
 

On any Himalaya 
Mr. Chetri claps twice 
and a teaman appears 

In his paws a rack of glasses 
(wiped not washed) 
and a Chinese Thermos 
green with red flowers 
For a rupee he pours cha 

Darjeeling steams 
with crude sugar 
half milk 
spiced with smoke 
from the mystic wood 
it's steeped over 

The test of tenure 
is to scald fingers
and not 
set the glass down 

You learn to honor the taste 
of cremated trees 
In these mountains 
all wood is rare wood 
 


to J. Kevin Wolf   /   to Moongate