Jan/Feb 2006 Poetry

Three Poems

by William Winfield Wright

Author's Photo

        for Diana Joseph

No hats, no dogs, no faraway looks.
Do not put your hands to your face.

Even if you've had them since puberty,
lose the pipe and the button-up sweater.

A cigarette could work as a kind of counterstatement
but only if the book has a piece on

the decriminalization of smoking
or the idea of a burning house that's not a metaphor.

A blur would be neat if you were fast
or are often in the state of what's called running,

say towards a lover or a bus,
the two said to come with a similar frequency.

A wall of books? You can't find anything
to build a wall out of other than books?

Underwater is vastly underutilized
but don't show us the picture if you don't

spend a lot of time down there.
Did Michael Jackson's hair really catch fire

during the filming of a Pepsi commercial?
Did it hurt? Would it be worth it? Just a thought.

Photography is only 178 years old, but even
Neanderthals combed their hair with their fingers

and turned their eyes toward unexpected movement.
Advice, you're asking?

Wear red. There'll be enough of black
when you're dead.

Smile, maybe wave a hand.
Everything is our last chance.


Last Poem

The newscaster is forever
moving the windblown hair

from out of her mouth. You and I
are a mile from the bridge

near a boat named
for what you mean to me.

The statues turn their backs and leave us to stand
in the sufficient halo of our arms.

The fog will lift for airplanes and others
will see the mouth of the open ocean.


Gary Kasparov's Little Brother

It's so stuffy can't
someone open a window
can't we stop for a walk
how can anyone live
so long without the noise of birds?
Pawn to King's four.

The problem with longing
is that there is no object
you cannot know when you're done
or how to stop.
Knight to Queen's Bishop three.

The problem with desire
is that there is an object
and when everything points toward it
everything else is aligned to keep it away.
Castle to King's side.

Forget all this talk
about the center of the board
my pieces gather off the edges and wait
everything waits
everything is not moving
I rest my one finger on this one piece
and wait and wait
when I lift it off
when it lifts up into the air
what's to stop the rest of me from going too?


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