Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Teapot Poem

The Teapot Poem
Gentle rain
runs in tiny rivulets
down to an enchanted pool
where silver fish flash like lightning
below the surface
swallows bank upon the breeze
dip and skitter along the water
chasing their shadows
on the wind.
  • J. Larkin 3/03/2006
    My translation of a poem inscribed in 
  • Chinese characters on a clay teapot.

Nude Descending a Staircase


She came down
  with a crooked smile
            her pheromones
                  leaping out.

Lovely, yes,
      in her colors.

Behind the bright faƁade
    the glue of her composure
        was unstuck
            oozing out of every pore.

The picture s h a tt e red.

She came down
   a nude
      descending the staircase

       the escalator.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Free Poetry

Joe Larkin is a published poet, short story writer and stand-up comic, not necessarily in that order. Joe is tired of playing the "publish my poetry" game.

Joe says, "I don't want to waste any more time sending poems out to journals and waiting for months for them to be published or rejected. I'd rather spend my time writing and performing. I want my poetry to be read by as many people as possible, so I'll be posting poems here for all to read and enjoy. All poems are © Joe Larkin. Please respect my copyright."

New Poem

Hemingway at Key West

In the morning sun, he is lime green

under the big banyan tree off the veranda.

In the papers, the world sings of him;

they love large men of large deeds;

it is no different here.

He eyes the six-toed cats

that mill around him absently;

he loves them, every one.

They steal along the porch,

curl about his ankles,

lick their paws assiduously.

The lizards keep to the rooftops

and the trees.

He drifts naked to the pool

she had installed while he was gone

shooting pigeons with the men on Key Largo,

fishing off the Dry Tortugas.

"Take my last two cents, why don't you?"

he boomed as he threw down the pennies

that lodged there in the wet concrete

to remind her again and again

to honor him and be more frugal.

Fingers of Spanish moss hang

limp in muscular branches.

Soothing the wounds

of body and mind

he slides under the water, counting,

Italy, Paris, Spain, Africa;

a big marlin tugs at his mind.

In the thick afternoon,

bottle of gin in hand,

he climbs to his lion's lair

above the pool house,

draws the rope bridge in behind himself,

reads what the columns say of him today,

"hero," "coward," "man's man,"

"the bravest man I ever met," said one,

"blustering blowhard

trailing women in his wake."

He paces, leopard to zebra skin and back,

trophies out of Africa;

the pain won't let him sit.

Now and then he stands cat still

staring to the future;

gin eyes tinged of shotgun shells,

he pens a word or two.

I Live On the Outskirts of Her Love

I live on the outskirts of her love,
secure, retired, protected in a gated villa
out beyond the stadium where green hills
trace the contours of her rude fortress town.
I see her skyline in the distance, her marble steps,
the streets where she shops for bullet-proof vests.

Nestled in the comfort of flowered beds,
I loll on the grass at the margin of the yard.

I live on the outskirts of her love,
on the bowered veranda where sometimes
we share a glass in the warm summer nights
when the moon flies high and talk about the children
we slew when we were young, mad emperors,
callow, selfish, unwilling to conceive of all love’s facets;
we cry in all its faces and tell ourselves the ones
who came after saved us, guaranteed redemption.

I live on the outskirts of her love.
We laugh around a table set with turkey and dressing,
candied yams and deviled eggs, telling stories
of dumb, daring chances we took out on our limbs --
the weed and whiskey, blind alleys, new worlds explored,
settlements with desert sands and stars pulsing all around,
gods looking down, forgiving, giving us youth to spare.

The walls and gates from here to town concede nothing;
her cobbled streets grow harder, my flowers bloom
in mad profusion under the weeping willows.

I repair to the garden to dig in the earth and eat turnips,
while she goes back to her cell and fights the guards.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Poems

The Caretaker

In my park there is a wooded path

from the lowland to the high

where off to the side by chance I found

a garden plot sullied and forgotten,

overgrown with buckthorn and honeysuckle,

where in the center stood

a tree.

I am the caretaker. It is my job to bring it back.

As if beguiled, I hacked through the underbrush,

climbed to the treetop, careful not to fall,

and looked out, envisioning paradise,

then climbed down from my high perch

and set myself to work.

The Hub of The Wheel

The dam has sprung a leak

The water of miracles

Will drown me.

Gift of clear lungs

Sharp tongue

Vision unapprehended

Flowing through my fingers

Cold and pure.

Come for a visit to the corner of my eye

Leave the center of my vision alone.

For there is falseness, unreality,

Look away, look away

There is truth in nothing.

Nothing is the truth

The hub of the wheel

Is nowhere, look away.

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Poems

The Spider’s Song

Is it not too much to ask
to be the keeper
of one’s fate, the one
who feeds his own desires?

That is the tune played
on your instrument;
the threads sing songs
of succulent flies
struggling to keep their freedom,
and now you’ve captured one
in flight, as if you had
the vaunted wings themselves,
as if it were the end of all endeavor,
all spinning and planning,
the bridge from here to there.

You leap across the cosmos
of your conception
to spin out tunes
that bring the vast world
to you in your solitude.

You trap life’s essence
bundle and drain it
and sleep up in the corner
waiting for a note
to zing across your strings
announcing a new song.

© Joe Larkin

An Extended Life

Another one’s passed out of the world and we cannot cry.
The tubes and machines are disconnected and we sigh
sighs of relief and say she’s in a better place, and by God
she is. She spent her last two years crying, not knowing why,
or where her home went, who the people were who came to her
and where they went when they left or if they’d come another day,
and if she’d care. And she cried and cried for her lost children,
her mother and father who could not comfort her except in dreams
interspersed with nightmares of death and yearnings for death
when living death had taken her, left her bereft of hope.
And now, mercifully, she’s gone.
We hope she’ll recognize her old home.

As I look into the years ahead,
Life extended with prescription meds;
the little senior moment, forgotten name, word that slips the mind
I feel a nightmare coming on and fear those who would save me from myself.

© Joe Larkin