5 poems inspired by Leonard Cohen by Robert Frede Kenter (Before I Turn Into Gold Day)

art by Geoffrey Wren (c)

(Passing Through) (for L. Cohen)

Crossing laneway between old colonial buildings,

remember reading about L. Cohen discussion of discipline

in his family before (leaving) his shoes neatly beneath the bed,

lined in rows the Westmount childhood house of  his

textile-merchant father.

Blossoms on the Plateau

      scatter towards St. Laurent. 

At a café, grab a late coffee, Mile End.

 – Elated. Artwork to hang at Gallery ___  of

new punk energy competing with empty lots.

A poet encountered Cohen right near here  chaotically sprawled

on a bench, static hat, shins crossed, 

institutionally bemused.

My father knew clothing, my father knew hats.

In every secret life,

Danceclatter   spirit  memories, 

Reanimated, the dead  no longer leave

Gather  under pelican shaped eaves

Refugees  –  taking leave, returning quickly as they arrive–

By harbour,  ships,  disembarking planes

At official hearings  destinies decided  by immigration board

 on appeal. O, CanadaWe  who betray everything

 –what are

We doing?

Searching landscapes  beyond mythic voice, 

first languages, anthologized wards

of mothertongue,  come alive

to holy gathering,   catchments of double-rainbows

above camera shop,

on The Main,    to St. Catherine’s Street, 

expanded histories,

Banging hammers,

gauntlet to throw  down   bargaining  for life

observing, photographing,

the Ascending of the

descending notes,

at the gated freight elevators

in a cessation of rain,  orchestral loft curtains

and a cacophony of rattling glass

in choreographic time,

threaded hum of industrial needles,  machines,

for fancy fabric, the manufacture of

ghost suits in factories.

 Did the street lineaments of longing  shape

an arc to the sun in melodic time,

Word became difference

– without a promised pound of flesh —

each visioning, wisteria proposing

darker awakening.  To bow and Curtsy.  The

– Oars of the St. Lawrence remaining as if

 Hallucinatory – at a farther reach –

  Prayer,  

Continuance.  Swirling,

persuasive designs for some new disguise.

                     In rupture             rapture————

 Graffitied,

the needle in thread, the lacuna.

 Stitches of erasure,

(by attendant lay  kept at bay)

  a homonym in nominal  space

Ofidentity

            en/closures.

When You Carry the Flag of Surrender

We aim for song. 
Tilt to embrace.
First embouchure, embrace of red, then blue, 
a burning white beneath the stair corrodes coruscating struts.

You waited to come back too long,
already threat gave you a name.
Beneath eyelids, the mourning bruised fifth notes.
Minor armies, advancing packs of card sharks,
upon arrival, slight a flock of black birds, ravens,
and your sister’s husband’s brutal conundrum commences. 

It’s a war against nature.
We guessed wrong.

Planning for a siege at a craps table
along the loneliest strip 
where hummingbirds dance a devious fandango,
on with nightclub nightmares. 
You lifted up with urgency,
the urge, to surrender,
to carry the flag of surrender.

 (And safely, the albatross of snow
glides ascending beyond Blake, 
rising to the Gate of Hell
Wings shorn with fire).
The yellowing book, it’s pages.

If you are tired enough, you will fall asleep,
fall into the arms of a boulder,
spreading the night moth’s wings around you.
On the ocean, the burning partisan’s ship 
sinks behind another neon moon.


Affair

Between the odd and even
I shall be a tailor, sewing pockets
with a wretched hand. 
A corruption,  failure 
of the terms of service. 

I gave them nothing, willingly,
I gave them nothing, undue dress.
A shaky signature,  handshake
under duress, erasing 
distressed seams.

The Committee of Horsemen
and their capital wives
Flying to a ceremonial, under
cloak, the war’s convoy’s coverings

Blanket the skies with parachutes.

I shall be the uninvited guest,
these twisted hands trembling, 
winter branches at calico windows, 
draperies.

Obscene broncho –
of obstreperous lineage.
Startling twilight of starlings.
Sinking Hesperus. 

Rain

1.

The plane goes down
It goes down

It makes the sun
turn a pale green
a pale green

Packages of jealous
nauseous waitresses

That know no limits
know no limits

In the charnel house
in the charnel house


2.

Confusion of smoke
Bodies alight
by the fairgrounds
All the kisses you can 
punch for a dollar twenty
five don’t be shy step
Right up 


3.

Bop bop  bopping
for the wormy wordy words
worthy apple of the jaundice
eye  another round 
of Government Propaganda
For the Shiny Happy People

4.

Free line dances
for the people
By the acid river backside
pouring out toxic sludge


5.

Captains of Productive 
Industrial stewardship
on sacred ground whose
ground sacred check
the grainy almanac
in the gun-sites of the 
Military Industrial complex


6.

We capture captions 
speak in thought balloons
Sometimes arrogant
overtalking even
The gentlest Master
slips outside benign
speaking behind a billboard
for mouth wash 
cattle in the fields, lowing

7. 
“It will rain soon,”
Mommy says to 
her six year old in Khakis
amidst the smoke beneath
the chocking ruins -- rains
down historical memory


8.
Insects rub their tentacled principal 
legs together make the beat
of some new music written
by the Karaoke Moon

9. 

We can count 
all of the ways 
that what was once here 
no longer is.

 Using an app with magic markers
 we make asemic marks 
on photographic paper.

 Is there hope of change?
 Are we impassioned? 

Poisoned?   What lies beyond
belief is belief in 
our own ability to change 
out of clothing

make the New Man
look possible 
available
fallible as Merchandise.

1985 (A Drum)

A Leonard Cohen concert 
New York, Carnegie Hall, 

At performance end, more people
than one might imagine prepare for Rapture. 

From handbags & from under
winter coats they rush towards the stage.

A price of admittance.
Recognizable is ritual.

My old friend, with whom I attend,
I shall never see again, while,

Field Commander Cohen,
Working for the Yankee Dollar,

Takes Manhattan. 
Graciously bowing,

catching in light and furious,  bouquets
of cornflowers and roses. The clarion call,
 
in spot lit time trumpet flowers 
opening up pollen in a thousand-handed balcony.

Twitter: @frede_kenter @icefloe_P

Instagram: @r.f.k.vispocityshuffle

Poems 2, 3 & 4 are inspired by Cohen’s poetry book “The Energy of Slaves”

4 poems by Robert Frede Kenter published in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Poem for a Russian Grandmother in Exile by Robert Frede Kenter w/ A Painting by Moira J. Saucer

4 poems from Robert Frede Kenter in Avalanches in Poetry

A Spotlight on IceFloe Press : Poetry, Art, Photography Creativity Sponge

4 poems from Fevers of the Mind Poets of 2020 by Moira J Saucer

2 new poems by David L O’Nan on IceFloe Press (click links) today “Those Hazels, they Slice” and “Living in This Toxic Coalmine”

All of the poems (revised) from Avalanches in Poetry for Leonard Cohen Week by David L O’Nan

Wonderful Artwork from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen by artist/writer Geoffrey Wren

Poem “It’s Getting Darker” by John W. Leys in Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen

Avalanches in Poetry 2 entries by Peter Hague : “I Did Not Want it Darker””Between Leonards” “Following Leonard”

A Spotlight on IceFloe Press : Poetry, Art, Photography Creativity Sponge

logo by Cathy Daley

IceFloe Press is one of the most unique, creative endeavors for poetry these days. With challenges, specific themes of poetry, an all inclusive collective of voices that need to be heard.

Founded by Robert Frede Kenter (Eic), Co-editor Moira J. Saucer, other editors and chief contributors to the site are Ankh Spice, Elisabeth Horan, Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau & Jakky Bankong-Obi

Some of their contributions to Fevers of the Mind can be linked below. 4 poems from Robert Frede Kenter in Avalanches in Poetry An Interview with Robert Frede Kenter of Icefloe Press

4 poems from Fevers of the Mind Poets of 2020 by Moira J Saucer

Some poems from Elisabeth Horan in Fevers of the Mind Issue 1 (2019)

6 poems from Elisabeth Horan

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Jakky Bankong-Obi

5 Poems by Ankh Spice : That which can be made visible, Hold the river, Feeding the koi, Act like you were never for sale, & Hathor’s gift

Holiday Interlude by Ankh Spice from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen

IceFloe is known for great art contributions, poetry contributions & photography. Some links below to a few you just have to read or see.

https://icefloepress.net/peach-delphine/

https://icefloepress.net/2020/01/28/five-poems-by-peach-delphine/

https://icefloepress.net/2020/05/12/two-poems-by-david-hanlon/

https://icefloepress.net/2020/12/09/three-poems-by-jenny-mitchell/

Poem for a Russian Grandmother in Exile by Robert Frede Kenter w/ A Painting by Moira J. Saucer

https://icefloepress.net/2020/12/04/glass-kelp-a-poem-by-anindita-sengupta-w-an-image-by-vera-schmittberger/

https://icefloepress.net/2020/12/24/a-reunion-or-a-resurrection-a-poem-and-three-images-by-kushal-poddar/

https://icefloepress.net/2020/11/30/happy-birthday-twice-a-pandemitime-poem-and-three-images-by-lynne-sachs/

https://icefloepress.net/2020/12/01/i-am-care-a-poem-by-linnet-macintyre-w-a-painting-by-m-s-evans/

https://icefloepress.net/2020/03/03/five-poems-by-david-o-nan/

https://icefloepress.net/excerpts-from-pandemic-party-moira-j-saucer/

https://icefloepress.net/dwelling-a-poem-by-marcelle-newbold/

https://icefloepress.net/two-poems-by-chelsea-dingman/

https://icefloepress.net/a-love-letter-to-me-a-vispo-by-maggs-vibo/

https://icefloepress.net/two-poems-by-bola-opaleke/

https://icefloepress.net/three-poems-by-catherine-graham/

https://icefloepress.net/two-poems-by-kari-flickinger-w-four-art-works-by-m-s-evans/

https://icefloepress.net/six-poems-from-new-disease-streets-by-david-l-onan-w-a-digital-collage-by-robert-frede-kenter/

https://icefloepress.net/two-poems-loop-year-postmarked-plague-and-an-image-by-kushal-poddar/

https://icefloepress.net/elliot-north/

https://icefloepress.net/pandemic-politics-3-poems/

https://icefloepress.net/three-poems/

https://icefloepress.net/when-aurelia-noa-learned-to-sing-two-poems-by-kushal-poddar/

https://icefloepress.net/loss-a-poem-and-drawings-by-moira-j-saucer/

https://icefloepress.net/in-a-starless-sky-i-find-memories-out-of-a-cancerous-moon-a-prose-poem-by-sodiq-oyekanmi/

https://icefloepress.net/three-poems-rose-knapp/

https://icefloepress.net/survival-from-the-ruins-of-ashes-a-prose-poem-by-ariyo-ahmad/

https://icefloepress.net/for-the-foreign-friend-who-asked-me-why-africans-write-sad-poems-a-poem-by-idowu-odeyemi/

https://icefloepress.net/a-poem-after-lana-del-reys-cinnamon-girl-a-poem-by-adeola-juwon/

https://icefloepress.net/so-long-marianne-and-good-riddance-bitter-biased-thoughts-on-art-romance-and-portrait-of-a-lady-on-fire-an-essay-by-kaye-nash/

https://icefloepress.net/today-i-will-write-a-poem-and-name-it-after-your-beads-an-essay-poem-by-henneh-kweku/

https://icefloepress.net/knowing/

https://icefloepress.net/a-mother-of-poetry-an-elegy-by-suzi-x/

https://icefloepress.net/postmarked-quarantine-a-book-of-poems-by-kushal-poddar/

https://icefloepress.net/kyla-houbolts-dawns-fool-a-microchap/

https://icefloepress.net/boy-bestiary/

https://icefloepress.net/0rder-audacity-of-form/

https://icefloepress.net/order-skeleton-of-a-ruined-song/

4 poems from Robert Frede Kenter in Avalanches in Poetry

(c) Geoffrey Wren

this is how you disappear (for Leonard Cohen)

Going on about the hinge in the door
The monkey and the bow
A suit of plywood etc.
I'll never forget how you sewed
the undone memories of world war
into the inlay of buttons
Fingers in movement towards the cobblestones

Confessions in a window of suitcases
An army-navy store in Halifax
A textile factory on the Plateau

All dressed in black
My lurid nightmare is in red
Cluster the notes in a heart beat

The children will all
wood-shed the tears
of Mount Royal
by record's end

Coughing Up Blood

Your beauty is a sharp razor
A Gershwin ballroom rhapsody
rising to the occasion in revolt
A need to taste defeat in each embrace.
There are smiles on everyone's lips
while neon signage paints the rain
in unmitigated post war hues.
Night is being rearranged
in red and white and blue
a thoroughbred coward
from a window shouting
the cue is turned to snow.
A chorus of iris is a choral choker of orchid clouds
Drop kick the silent cinema's Cossack mezzanine.

Rimbaud at the Paris Commune

I could only hope for the issuing of treason from binding
ground. collecting insurance from the house of whitest 
america is the fortress of gloom. beyond the grace of
transcendence, a white gloved hand carries a banner
a pale bird receding on hallowed ground.   from hallways
from meeting places by train-tracks they are leaving
a careless, a gentle careless caress.  gorged in the
brightest armour, with a wardrobe of wounds, carrying this
banner of wonderment.  i claimed the territory upon which
i stood.
i could only  hope for the hope treason brings,
like a message/ a message of desire

The Healer

I am a healer
I have healed many wounds in my time
with a magic wand
and a black Stetson hat
I healed
the wounds of poets and statesmen
with dark amber potions and herbs
I healed the painters of houses
with canvas bags of secret wines
I healed the scars of hatred
on the back of Montgomery Street
with a needle and thread and scissors
I starved the healer
whose cane was crooked
and dropped him into a pit
I filled the abyss with dirt
and stitched it up with rain
I walked along the avenue
and was prayed to 

 An Interview with Robert Frede Kenter of Icefloe Press 

 4 poems by Robert Frede Kenter published in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Poems from New Disease Streets from David L O’Nan published on Icefloe Press (some repeats)

The Algebra of Broken Mirrors 

A new fix began from the frail rusted sun
In the sky hanging on by tilted screws
We become broken in shards from the heavenly mirror
On the ground put us back together with foamy tape
To put us back together in ragged equations.

The years of alcohol hooked them into the pivot of a tornado.
And they watched the hills move in waves –
Ast the windows break like the many bottles.
Oh, by the banks of the splitting rivers
Where the old men lived young & the young men lived death.

The soldiers were introduced as tawdry
Introduced as cash for blood.
All the war voices unite in the thunder
They cried bleed for me!
Will you march to the prophecy?
Of course you will.

Many drowning faces shallow looking up from the clear
The waters filthy through their ghosts
The cuts sting my torso,
The cuts bathe in my brain
My soul is lipped up into the wounded world as they battlecry
The God is the dove on your war torn shoulder.

The red stirs into a light pink
Over my wrist as the funeral fades
An old laughter, as well
In my paint, I see the once sparkling stars

I want to step out of the pain
And watch the ponies again
To trollop in the rain
Stuck in this exclusion
To silence the lightning
In the mud, I wish to dance in
When the earthquakes begin to disease us
And the fires wave into our pieces of translucent exponents
Our skins begin to blend
The cameras record the pulling crust.

I’ve remained nameless,
But never boneless
Never this defeated, bloodless
As another day circuits that sun
That lives in starvation.
Tearless,
Holding an empty cup
Begging for moonlight.

Suicide 20/20: A Basket of Fruit


Let us all, stand by our baskets of fruit
That the rain and sunlight bathed out for us to dine.
I want to leave aside the sidewalks that burn
I want to wash away the pain that lives in my wrinkles.

I want the depressants to live behind the veils
And watch the birds fly from North to South and back again.
I want the suicide to climb back over the fence
While I think about the comfort of skin
While I blanket my mind with the thoughts of sweet breath.

Leave a war-cry
Echo back in the canyons
That I shall never want to see again
Leave the glass bottles on the edge,
To never feel the wind tip them over the ridges.

I want to remain by this fruit basket
To close my eyes
And reunite me with the loves that hold me
In tenderness, they have passed
I feel them again, my tears must obey
I must obey to put those bottles away.

And live for the saccharine.

Suicide 20/20: In a Shoebox


The cold floats over my dying energy
Shedding the ghosts from my skin
My breath has a left a sticky gloss –
Over the plastic thin shoebox windowpane.
My last breath in the stained carpets of poverty.

The wind tunnels through the apartments
Like a storm, like a voice
That rips through my eardrum
They whisper the suicides to me
Like the embracing kiss of all seven archangels
To greet God in the corner
Behind the burning candles
That attempt to save me

My hands are clammy
And the shadows are already in unison to dance
Dance my freedom away
From this plane
From the rags of this old shoebox
The conquering of another peasant.

…And I Will Burn Down the New Circus


We are given mystery and surprise as soon as the infant’s eyes –
See or feel.
As scrawny as the sky may be,
Or as fully as its belly of grey hovers over us.
We become weightless pebbles,
Like ants stuck in sand on this Universal birth.

Evolving Constables, dictatorship, mind control, slavery, to us
The baby, the humanity, the humble, the wise
Candle wick lit in the clouds.
Ready to light a new birthday to a new regime.

The same, old regime?

In the sand is the answers

Do we dig?

Afraid of finding more of our unspoken sins.
Illuminate circus of wonders with crackling whips,
And loud voices begging for the attention to their destruction and let them –
Vilify,
For they are the ringmaster,
And they need such a lush red coat.

In the sand is the answer,
To the fossils of many sacred bubbles
That burst.
From the ocean waves.

Across these clouds,
The angels once in tears
Fanning in new funerals
Sending out new invitations.
Statues and monuments dreamt up the old circus
Falling Angels in Rolls-Royces created the new circus.
While the old circus crumbled,

I say we burn down the new circus.
Scrape away the ashes,
Cascade in a wash of blues
Chroma in the pigmentations of all that is blue,
Is pure
Drain all the pain from the diseases
That turned us into flightless birds.
We can coalesce as humanity again.
And feed these devils to the termites
That eat away at the wooden hearts of ringmasters.

Our circus isn’t a circus at all.
It is a parade, for everyone
It shall be a sharing,
A puncturing of the death toll.
We will become the fuel for this Earth.

And we will no longer be weightless,

The Earth shall be full of our fruits and thought.

And not have to live scraped off into the gutters of the galaxy.

Precautionary Nightingales


Was I awake to slit the wrists,
Only to finally find charisma?
The shy boy is just some ghost
When dawn flies into your psyche
The precautionary nightingales knows
The moon from a genuine fake at 6 a.m.
Every eyelash to a broken wing
A crusted, dry, cold flight of winks.

My dreams are an asylum
Not to rest peacefully
The skating on the thin ice that lines my veins.
Tremors in the belly
Jump off the arching cliffs of my brain.
The fires from flower to flower
Weave me into the flash of foolishness.
Unnatural photos
I’m an underlying flesh of bruises
Imperfect and limping.
Transform me to a hungered wolf
With a brittle bite and blood showing from the bone.

In the molasses of snow that chews on the mountains
Watch a radical metamorphosis from –
Death to the fighter – to the hero
When waking up to the survival of self
The wind shifts so quickly back and forth
In this cemetery hurricane.
All the flies die off in the swarming over the temptations we breathe.

Listen to the Bones Breathe


You stare like Manson at the clocks,
Trying to stop time
And just pause amongst the crickets to –
Listen to the bones breathe.

You could be nude, and in the rapture
The sweating of ice drips from the bridge
You look at the sun deflate into the arms of the valley
Peel back all the layers to see more bricks inside.
You don’t hear laughter, or even a hunger pain
All you feel is the freezing lips of air smack your skin,
Digest my disease
And listen to the bones breathe.

You don’t seem like a savior, or
A pretending lord
You seem like a fading rattlesnake
And we just watch you turn gray and shake
Convulse your milk from the pipes in sheets
Dance like a ghost you coward
And then break apart, and erode with a thousand nights.
Watching over,
And listen to the bones breathe.

You watch my death as attentive,
As you are to a movie.
You love like the fossils that are fresh
And then creation ceased a million miles before
A collision of all the heavenly lights
They sprinkle down and the world said “more please”
You can’t please the sadist and the sweet
Only a chirp of spirit emits.
When you listen to the bones breathe.

Poseurs with Precision


When it is time to save the night,
You hide in your gatherings of sacred stones,
In the buildings to talk to him.
But you have no battleplan.
Paper religions,
Not willing to sacrifice yourself to poverty.
Not willing to sweep the dying humanity up,
And protect them with the heart and breasts.

The cowardly talk,
And they can sound so fluid with some bravado.
Breaking inside,
You can fight the weak, and tell them to join the inferno.
The waves of the sick are among you,
While you listen to Satan’s whispers from the television screen.
And you leave the malnourished weak-boned,
Starving, and praying to the one thought you can’t complete yourself.
You’re one of the poseurs with precision.

https://icefloepress.net/six-poems-from-new-disease-streets-by-david-l-onan-w-a-digital-collage-by-robert-frede-kenter/

Meet the Fevers of the Mind WolfPack Pt 1: David L O’Nan & HilLesha O’Nan

5 poems from David L O’Nan in Icefloe Press : “I Hope All is Well In Utah” “They Met in Prussia” “The Hills Have Blindsides” “I Honored You in Pennyrile Forest” “A Walk in Whistler’s Woods”

Robert Frede Kenter (c)

I Hope All is Well in Utah

I am thinking of you in Utah
making Salt Lake shadow puppets
in a Jesus sunset
on a sand dune writing poetry,
an architect with a blueprint.

There you are, complaining about something.
Red ants try to ruin your vision
equivalent to designing the Vienna Court Opera House,
the curtains have cast you nomadic for years.

Are you industrial, are you in Pittsburgh?
Are you pulling scorpions from your feet?
Have you purged the shaking?
Electric chairs still spit sparks.

Do you preach to the Scientists?
Do you carbonate religion in Ogden Salts?
To sell them all for the bottle
on the mountains, watching tiny people fly,
watch the leap before the canvas cracks.

Simple crowds move like
depressive black bears into resorts.
Is it psychedelic, do you hear tremoring bottle clanks –
that sound like Edith Piaf’s voice trapped inside?

La Vie En Rose through coyote howls.
Silence of your heartbeats
from distances, thousands of miles.

I don’t hear, don’t feel any longer.
Divisions of madness
has left us in soiled clothes
or beautifully, in a yell at some bash,
in black heels and fedora hats.

Now in Provo, at least you say,
“But your mouth can be a liar.”

Your kisses can be deceitful,
your train stop receipts reflect it.
You are trying to save us all while holding a noose.
You dive time and time again
through the clouds of glass and roses.
This early morning letter resonates,
and I feel a shave of breath leave my lungs,
“Because I don’t know.”

Are you a scream from a Joshua Tree?
A kite flying high in the hands of an angel’s drop?
I hope all is well in Utah,
because here we are all costume parties
searching for the autograph
of the imperial circus.

They Met in Prussia

A harlot eyes in the gas
of Rock
in tiny speckled jewels,
a calm scream woke the territory.
Monarchies aligned in pockets,
love was bait.
Two impish waif darlings
met in Prussia
as regimes began clashing
and rules began changing.
Their hands seemed to align perfectly
and they saw Warsaw spin its stomach.
Then the Nazis
ate holes through the pump
and towns became warzones
and their love was constant hiding
from dangers and the dare to be discreet.
They met in Prussia,
their hearts united in blizzards,
in sacrificial stabbings,
in choking chambers.
I want you to remember them as soulmates,
Not how they were when they met the scavengers.

The Hills Have Blindsides

A flock of hideous birds float through wind.
I feel these crows in shriveled fur,
their flight, an old man’s crippled slur.
They congregate together
cross-eyed and angry
to yell from the diaphragm,

Your rebellion is based on ignorance.

These were feathers from the same war
all brewed up steam together
before peace became a relevant idea.
In caskets, they lay
all purpled – in art
waiting for someone to dance and sing –

with the bells ringing from their heart.

After all the diseases sink in their talons
then gnashing and biting begins.
When the prettiest star waves you in
to meet God or the jealousies of all sins,
they roll up those hills to see clarity.
The problem is all the darkness
is not within your peripheral understanding.
The hills have blindsides,

when you’re looking for Jesus,
                                                        when you’re looking for Jesus

I Honored You in Pennyrile Forest

They had always thought of us like twins
though we were only schoolmates, best friends through the years.
We were seekers of adventure,
hospital visits were constant.
You drove your Honda bike in supersonic speeds down the Kentucky hills,
we dated the same type of girls,
smoked our first cigarette on a cloudy day on slabs of rock in Pennyrile Forest,
coughed and lightly choked up breakfast.
We laughed, and then graffitied a tractor,
long talks about all the assholes,
Your dad, the bullying step brother, the fiends that stay hidden.

We rest against the fading red barn,
as skies phlebotomized heavy rainfalls,
washed the stains of paint to our dirty clothes.

You tell me you wished you had the faith
like your Mother, or your stillborn sister.
You look into a sewer grade full of empty penicillin bottles, and cry on my shoulder.
Lightly punching my chest,
picking up branches, we swipe at blackberries and mushrooms.

Hey, John do you ever feel dead in your heart, do you feel religion?
Before I could answer, an ADHD distraction,
we take interest in the red cardinal family sipping worms by the puddles.
I say, You know I am ashamed, I’m a child really, but now they want me to be a man, they want me to be a soldier.
Tammy Applegate is pregnant, and the claim is I’m the father.


Your mistakes, when you think you love more than just skin, leads you to a
duplication of yourself.
I stutter myself to more tears,
You know I walk in to enlist in the Army for my dad and broken Country.
Maybe we will be honored kings and not poverty princes with angry children full of questions.

Bad decisions follow me like a fiend,
like fiends that followed you, John.
I am not guaranteed the beauties of Lake Barkley.
I am war crippled stem-to-stem,
a man of many divorces, a daughter that never knew my face.
I heard that you lingered for years through all of our drifting footprints.
Our stick mud people broke apart like sand crystals.

And I heard your family came and went,
diseases took your loves, the fire took your shelter.
All the bullies faded, except fiends that lived in your shadows and brain.
You must have been terrified on those lightning-lit nights, heavy rainfalls drown
you up to your waist.
Your hair now long, stringy, and all the red cardinal families sick of worms.

Pennyrile Forest was your only hint of escape
from another’s prayer echoed from barns to wells to skin off lost love.
Fine, I will welcome my sentence,
plagued to mistakes,
you didn’t have choices.
You inherited the appetite of derailment in the tracks of your lonely heart.

As I’m throwing pebbles, cutting loose bark with a lancet,
I hear you took your life in the forest to escape fear.
I run out to see clouding skies.
I run to those woods, through wild turkeys, ferns, the ballet of squirrels around
acorns.

I see laying alone on the ground,
a wet naked note that fell from the hemorrhage of a final breakdown.
It said I loved you like a twin, that note blew away,
attaching itself to that now grayish barn.
On the ground lay a cross inside an aperture.
A wet leaf lays a freshwater pearl, in piles of disaster
dry sturdy green wood.

And I know what I must do.
I have never been much of a man.
My molars never seemed to line up.
Criminal, a deadbeat dad,
barely able to walk on foot,
I have never been much of a carpenter, never had to assemble much without
direction.
But, my friend, for you I create a Memorial Bench,
and hope that they don’t destroy,
to honor you in Pennyrile Forest,

A family of red cardinals.
Rest without stale hunger, for evermore.

A Walk in Whistler’s Woods

I can feel fog on my tongue
eyes watching me from distorted trees
the feet crippling in mud-sips
cutting glassy gravel.
I can breathe in phantom’s dances
while the unknown is whistling in the woods.

The chill bites my skin.
Feeling as thin as death allows
my prayers are endless, as the path
continues to squeeze me in
closer to the lake.
My reflections float
without my body, just flowing clothing
clogged in ripples.
Whistles like radar
lead me to paper cups of wine
sitting still for the wind.
A waterfall of poisons for me to drown in.

The whistler gorges in spirits
and leaves the woods bare, the bells of rapture toll.
In the mute silence
the art of earth, are crumbled sticks
Whistler’s freedom revoked.

bios:

Meet the Fevers of the Mind WolfPack Pt 1: David L O’Nan & HilLesha O’Nan

https://icefloepress.net/2020/03/03/five-poems-by-david-o-nan/