Jan/Feb 2000 Poetry

Two Poems

by Frank Van Zant


The Bed H

A baby locks a bed
better than an anti-theft device,
transformer baby holding the bed
in an H, from mom’s steering wheel arms
to dad’s speed pedal ribs

better than a barbell
gripping weights of heavy sleepless eyes

better than an axle,
brakelocked parents unable to move,
dad wedged in the rut of the bed edge,
mom punctured by Need, leaking air,
limbs in pins & needles

better than a watch gear,
jammed hands at 9 and 3, Time
splayed, frozen for a thousand seeming years

because this is how long it feels
since the pinned parents
have been able to Talk
w/o this string & cans phone vibrating between,
or to Touch, as when they got to create
this particular spinning tie-rod, anchor chain,

this untranslatable hieroglyph
who spins between them in treadless dreams.


Pete Reiser & The Ebbet’s Outfield Wall

Remember Pete like a half-smoked ballpark stogy
stuck in the ashtray wall
at 340 feet or so,
the tip of his head with flame expiring,
smoke streaming out of him.

Not like today’s millionaire reserve
who’d hesitate, be able to play tomorrow,
Reiser sacrificed himself
like a soldier diving on a live grenade,
or a caught spy facing a squad of guns
but clutching with his heart-nerve
that white stitched secret.


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