Poetry from Michael Igoe – January 2023

Socrates Said He Fled Sex

We may have known                                                                                                                            the familiar erasures.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Of frog carcasses                                                                                                                             rendered at sport.                                                                                                                                                   We've been found,                                                                                                                                                      knee deep in envy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              witlessly imagined                                                                                                                            for crying out loud.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         It’s the loss of power                                                                                                                               that oddly overcomes                                                                                                                       in a distant homeland.                                                                                                                                            He had sought the power,                                                                                                                                                     speaking from one cheek                                                                                                                                                              thought himself thwarted.

Stretch of Imagination

Our pecan inlaid table                                                                                                                             on the parquet squares                                                                                                                                   behind a derelict piano.                                                                                                                              Competing in infancy                                                                                                                               in a manner of stages.                                                                                                            Forgiving the mess                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        about they brought                                                                                                                                        the dime store items                                                                                                                                           same as in the Bible,                                                                                                                purloined on purpose                                                                                                                           completely breaking                                                                                                                                                                                                                                in the backyard mud.                                                                                                                            They dug with hidden claws                                                                                                                     at most all their Gethsemani.                                                                                                                                Yes, I walk gently,                                                                                                                             but in giant strides                                                                                                                         gifted by grinning                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             through every age.                                                                                                                                 A song you hear from the throat,                                                                                                                    one not of the spirit but the flesh.                                                                                                                            A phone forever rings                                                                                                                          I’m sure I waste water                                                                                                                                  when I sweep a basin.                    

2 new poems by Michael Igoe (October 2022)             

New poems from Michael Igoe                                                                                       

New poems from Michael Igoe

Photo from pixabay

Part of the Hill is Parched

As far as any decision goes,                                                                                                                             needs are easily abandoned.                                                                                                                                                               It’s hard work seething,                                                                                                                                                                     and lack of pretense                                                                                                                                                 brings little satisfaction.                                                                                                                      Beauties of the valley                                                                                                                                     capped by their dome                                                                                                                                  cries out for severance                                                                                                                                  from every governance.                                                                                                                                      In the cold hills of Adam                                                                                                                                 it’s thought to be the end.                                                                                                                No more showboats                                                                                                                                              carrying rank wine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  adrift on high seas.                                                                                                                              It’s someone else,                                                                                                                                      causing agitation.                                                                                                                                      makes life appear                                                                                                                                 as lifelike as NOW.                                                                                                                                  They’ll emerge on all fronts                                                                                                                                spend lonely time searching.                                                                                                                      They wait among the rushes                                                                                                             on an oilcloth playing cards.                                                                                                             The high card,                                                                                                                                         Ace of Spades,                                                                                                                                                        their alignment                                                                                                                                                   in representing                                                                                                                                         death’s dominion.                                                                                                                                 After the levels of the sun                                                                                                                                       has reached  a day’s peak                                                                                                                                        they have finished singing.                                                                                                                                          Then taking long draughts                                                                                                                                             from their rusty scuppers

   Manifest Destiny

As opulence enters,                                                                                                                                       the eyes open wide.                                                                                                                                         It makes me happiest,                                                                                                                                   when opulence leaves.                                                                                                                                 I keep  talking  about                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
the sparrows flocked                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    close to the Pavilion.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           They set a course,                                                                                                                                              fiercely objecting                                                                                                                                     to the little things.                                                                                                                                       In resort to slander                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   following the rules                                                                                                                              that they can't deny.                                                                                                                               They're observed,                                                                                                                                           
only feeling fiery                                                                                                                                           with flexed wings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Agreeing on one thing,                                                                                                                                           they like it much better                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             flying over tank towns.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Here,  the windows bolted                                                                                                                       right before every evening.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 They kayo all the words                                                                                                                                            considered as breathing.      

 Figureheads 

Managing to remain on top,                                                                                                                          to follow the bouncing ball.                                                                                                                            keep my mouth shut,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        when shaking hands,                                                                                                                                               with leaders of men.                                                                                                                                                  It gets me nowhere,                                                                                                                              with a mottled face                                                                                                                                          that lacks the words                                                                                                                                            to end an encounter.                                                                                                                          Plans in the making,                                                                                                                                   lined up one by one.                                                                                                                                           In the days that follow,                                                                                                                                     a big strong line reaps                                                                                                                                   the fruits of our labors.               

 Embrasure 

There’s entrance                                                                                                                                          to this chamber,                                                                                                                               one that’s more                                                                                                                                               tiny than dusty.                                                                                                                                        The routine inhabitants,                                                                                                                              some who are insistent.                                                                                                                            Their guarantee is scripted.                                                                                                                 through a break in the skin.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   They form like a crystal                                                                                                                          but of your own making.                                                                                                                   It’s in a swirling dedication,                                                                                                                             to a faraway press of desire.                                                                                                                       But there is never room                                                                                                                                       for things uninterrupted.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Bio: Michael Igoe, neurodiverse city boy, Chicago now Boston, recovery staff at Boston University Center For Psych Rehab. Many works appear in journals online and print. Recent: Spare Change News(Cambridge MA), thebluenib.com, minerallit.com. Avalanches In Poetry Anthology@amazon.com. National Library Of Poetry Editor’s Choice For 1997. Twitter: MichaelIgoe5. poetryinmotion416254859.wordpress.com. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the Night.

2 new poems by Michael Igoe (October 2022)

Guarded

You can't always tell                                                                                                                                                 where the future lies.                                                                                                                           We’re in streets                                                                                                                                        paved by alibis.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With a witless grace                                                                                                                                          you come to realize,                                                                                                                                                     a future will reflect                                                                                                                                  sharp recall of past.                                                                                                                                   In chained trace,                                                                                                                                          among buildings                                                                                                                                                  of glass and steel,                                                                                                                                     eagerly expecting                                                                                                                                         a howling eureka.                                                                                                                          The sound sustains                                                                                                                                                  in the current light.                                                                                                                                           In growing gaunt,                                                                                                                           cheekbones break,                                                                                                                                                        the hairline silvers.                                                                                                                              Kowtowing at baseline                                                                                                                                        claiming a performance                                                                                                                             defiant at an end of day.                                                                                                                                                                                 But there’s an urge to run                                                                                                                                                      watching what’s awkward.                                                                                                                                   And then you’ll run                                                                                                                                with a hum electric                                                                                                                                                                               Keeping in mind,  
you can't
sidestep

Dispatch From St. Louis
     
All of a sudden,                                                                                                                                     it dawned on me,                                                                                                                                         to break the silence.                                                                                                                                               Here’s where rarely                                                                                                                                            we endure a freeze.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Ice is going to melt,                                                                                                                                                            on your zany photo.                                                                                                                             The one you taped up,                                                                                                                                                  on back of your stove.                                                                                                                                                  It’s not allowed here,                                                                                                                                     even if it’s piecemeal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Commodes furnished,                                                                                                                                                 with their steel mirror.                                                                                                                                                        My eyes grew narrow                                                                                                                         from high beam lights.                                                                                                                                 After I took to watching    
the Mississippi
shimmer. 

A Super Deluxe Poetry Showcase for Michael Igoe (early-mid 2021)

2 poems from Michael Igoe – September 2022 

Last Frontier by Michael Igoe (Prose stories) Last Frontier

                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                             

2 poems from Michael Igoe – September 2022

from pixabay.com

Boundary Waters

Beyond the Pale                                                                                                                                      no one goes,                                                                                                                                  within or without.                                                                                                                                                  Here it's important                                                                                                                                              in sleep consistent                                                                                                                                            without  presence                                                                                                                                         of a towering idol.                                                                                                                                              The trestles of  viaducts,                                                                                                                                     shelter for working men.                                                                                                                                 Rock salt covers                                                                                                                                                      calloused hands.                                                                                                                                                       As for myself, I require,                                                                                                                                        the birth of every desire.                                                                                                                       Palm print saying                                                                                                                                               I need to wrestle                                                                                                                                                   with all the trees.       

Remittance Man

He plants the rough kiss                                                                                                                                    on the left of her cheek.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       It brings to mind                                                                                                                                         a former motive                                                                                                                               and base moves.                                                                                                                                                                        She gauges intentions                                                                                                                                  out of a pale archway,                                                                                                                                  by her sleight of hand.                                                                                                                                  It's understood                                                                                                                                       why he continues.                                                                                                                                              In the arched smile,                                                                                                                                  warming a window.                                                                                                                                        It’s a great day                                                                                                                                          in the morning.                                                                                                                                       Neither knew                                                                                                                                       she was equal,                                                                                                                                              to expanding sets                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 of mere explosion.                                                                                                                                                                       Of good luck aware,                                                                                                                                                         the washstand brings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Where with mascara                                                                                                                                                                           her eyes are opened. 

A Super Deluxe Poetry Showcase for Michael Igoe (early-mid 2021)

Poetry by Michael Igoe: Chaser & In Garnet Light 

Last Frontier by Michael Igoe (Prose stories) Last Frontier

A Super Deluxe Poetry Showcase for Michael Igoe (early-mid 2021)

Bio: Michael Igoe, neurodiverse city boy, Chicago now Boston, recovery staff at Boston University Center For Psych Rehab. Many works appear in journals online and print. Recent: Spare Change News(Cambridge MA), thebluenib.com, minerallit.com. Avalanches In Poetry Anthology@amazon.com. National Library Of Poetry Editor’s Choice For 1997. Twitter: MichaelIgoe5. poetryinmotion416254859.wordpress.com. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the Night.

The Way of A Hero

Certain castes tend to agree                                                                                                                     to own a certain anonymity.                                                                                                                     Though its lessons may sag                                                                                                                           it continues outlining plans.                                                                                                                                It no longer ages,                                                                                                                                               it plays all things                                                                                                                                                                         closer to the vest.                                                                                                                                                     Not extreme,                                                                                                                                            nor exuberant.                                                                                                                                They got that spirit                                                                                                                                                  of cautious departure                                                                                                                              from an ill lit corridor.        

Tunnel Vision  

Using glass eyes                                                                                                                                                    you fill the roles                                                                                                                                                                                             of  missing eyes.                                                                                                                                                                         Both will be judged                                                                                                                                                                                                           by rhythmic method                                                                                                                                                     in older swan songs.                                                                                                                                   Songs of Adam,                                                                                                                                           those from Eve.                                                                                                                                                                One precedes another                                                                                                                               in two separate gardens.                                                                                                                                  We made a decision                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     completely dead set                                                                                                                                               against their slander.

 Human Intervention 

As you entered,                                                                                                                                       you were saying,                                                                                                                                      “We carry baggage                                                                                                                                                from the living years.”                                                                                                                                It’s the meaning                                                                                                                                                      of living in sin.                                                                                                                                                You know I am the one                                                                                                                                                                                             who gave you a cornet.                                                                                                                          But it’s been ages                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      since you played it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You stored in a crate                                                                                                                                       with the grease guns.                                                                                                                                                        Marked as property                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       of the Christ Child.                                                                                                                                          Its later posed in secret                                                                                                                                 alongside a steel guitar.         

Think Of it as Fire  

In an everyday season,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am the everready one                                                                                                                                                 to foster blank children.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Made out of spare parts:                                                                                                                         Venus as the little coach                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     who fashions them in mist.                                                                                                                                                      The sense of dread descends                                                                                                                                                       when they continue thriving.    

Part 2
I'm past a barnyard,
that place of slaying.
I will greet there,
blanked children
who all too often
with eyes crossed
fashion phantoms
out of spare parts.
They live certainly
to thrive elsewhere.
A tiny venus as coach
working through mist.

Subdue                

 A rise insea level                                                                                                                                         provides the clue                                                                                                                              to what I missed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A routine discovery,                                                                                                                                    serving weightlessly                                                                                                                                   as due compensation.                                                                                                                                      For an angry era                                                                                                                                      spent in squalor                                                                                                                                      cutting new teeth.                                                                                                                                                 Badness lends meaning,                                                                                                                      to events an angel incurs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Laughing, falling, failing,                                                                                                                                         in courageous retaliation.       

The Stellar Marine              

I'm having much trouble
weeding out streets unfit to walk.
I tread slowly through the snows
of a recent nor'easterner.
as the recent customer
of a bottle of milk, and a dime newspaper.
I see fit to change paths,
past master of the clutch
a recent jamboree of poses behind me.
In a city that boldly confronts the sea
I stop for the traffic's beat
love letters roast in searing flame
outside the radius of wind and shore
stretching to New Bedford.
There, nor'easterners, I guess,
cease in sumps.
I wake up with your presence on me.
I turn over in the starry wind.
To feel my hands, tongue, and feet hush.
They report through lifelines and sinew,
extremities guide them, 
to recesses and removes.
They chalk up casualties.
Drink in each other's frames,
bound in a spiral,
we see the gust tamed
find ourselves without a rancor.
Gusts across water and sky,
equal to the stellar marine.
We cater to friends, they share
the same downward spiral:
to swap proofs and secret messages.    

 Highly Visible

We live it out in an era
with ferris wheel tickets.
We stand under viaducts,
paused in our grim march
toward that other Mayday.
A hope continues
for the secret vial
full of evidence
we look hard for.
Every biblical figure,
smashed to smithereens
roams under arches.
They plant a warm horror
on a rebel girl sunbathing.

A Portrait of Ray

Seems like you touched someone,
right near the heart of the Hun.
Those guesses of yours,
as you entertained crowds;
in vogue, lucky, to entertain half price.
You tame them all to start, downtown;
hypnotized crowds, they all wonder
if they're flesheaters, just like you.
They kept a record: an electric image,
of your smiling shattered teeth
the death' head tattoo you got
one day before you shipped out.
You never look at it closely,
instead you collect tin foil wrappers
from under chrome bumpers
to stage your lavish midway spectacle.
Next time I saw you, same as before,
You had long since confessed to eating flesh
it was the color of the rouge on faces
of women who claimed to love you.
Your eyes, also red, both of us knowing,
the hand really is quicker than the eye.
We're so wary of the moves it takes
to heal scar tissue from wounds in the corridor.
And I rifle through the boxes you left
to slip further along the empty aisles.

Rage Between Equals

Do you remember
all what you said:
the electric guitar
is soon to replace
an automatic rifle.
Interlopers clinched
in the heat of battle,
they find out blindly
about greasy bullets.
Success as the fuse
to sites of extinction.
They saw everything
through rose glasses.
Only beleaguered
by the five senses.
The sound of a note
amplifies on strings
representing itself
as a whiz vibration.
It's faster than
a speeding bullet.       

In Certain Climates

Right over there                                                                                                                                                     there are infants                                                                                                                                               darkly fondled,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      roaring mothers                                                                                                                                          roll on their sides.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Trying to console,                                                                                                                                                         but seem sunless,                                                                                                                                drinking together                                                                                                                             balanced droughts                                                                                                                                   of dynamic violence.                                                                                                                            It’s a sped up version                                                                                                                                    of an empty landscape.         

Elliptical       

Rumors stymied                                                                                                                                                                        dreams of dying.                                                                                                                                                       Panic laid to rest,                                                                                                                                                                                                                     through mourning.                                                                                                                                                    Over barren fields                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            slight brown hands                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       grasp at their allies.                                                                                                                                           Only when unbound                                                                                                                                                    they sweat and suffer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    stripped of vision                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              they agreed  to beg.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           They talk it over                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       at off brand meals.                                                                                                                                                 They joined the ranks,                                                                                                                                                                  of a blackened captain                                                                                                                     who believes tobacco,                                                                                                                                                is a cleansing penance.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       They go rent rooms                                                                                                                           they’re shared with                                                                                                                                                    former hairdressers   
retired safecrackers.

Inborn

Underneath a chassis,
a white glove touches
greasy stacks of boxes.
The bullets inside them
spill out on cold ground.
A file of sultry generals
assembles in a building.
In the shape of a Basilica.
Scarved girls
at work within
are busy washing
their china dishes.
To find themselves
not quite so lonely
when dishwashing.

Funeral Lilies

Necessary arrangements
are taking up more time.
Following rigid orders ,
we pick those flowers                                                                                                                  that bloom in skeletons.
Straightening creases,
ones real or imagined.
We read the rumors,
in the gossip column
we put them all down
to a misunderstanding.
Thanks to St. Jude,
for favors granted.
He’s close to the kin,
who perish among us.
But ones assembled,
give him due respect.
It seemed odd,
to think it's sad,
achieving a thrill.
Using only one word
that soothes our soul.
At a hot dog pit
south of 95th
we will arrive
at his funeral.
We meet brazen kings                                                                                                           making no mistakes
about power wielded
A Kansas City woman
calls a broom a rocket.
To match things up
she took a chance
to stand in line
so she can shake
the mayor’s hand.
She sure hoped he’d die
when he stole the election.
They both sit in the grandstands,
between the one eyed vagabonds.

A Quick-9 Interview with Michael Igoe 

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Michael: I started writing at about 15 or 16. I had little interest until then, I was encouraged by a musician buddy to do this. What I was reading was mostly trashy detective stories and horror, sci-fi.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Michael: A lot of what I see and hear is contemporary work- Joy Harjo, Jericho Brown. I still revere the beat poets, especially Corso and Ginberg. Surrealism, Dada, and Symbolists are about as far back as I go. I've heard that "an artist is true to the times." So be it. 

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Michael: I grew up on the South Side of Chicago which is a pretty fabled place for childhood. It definitely had a great influence, at one point I spent a lot of time portraying neighborhoods and people in them. 

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you've done creatively so far?

Michael: I have a few favorites from my own work. One of them is in that great anthology, Avalanches in Poetry 

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Michael: I think because of the way I was brought up I shied away from identifying myself as an artist. It happened by default.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Michael: I study Tai Chi and it has aided me immensely. 

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you'd like to promote?

Michael: No! I send out submissions; that's all. I write for the people I'm with.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from one of your poems or others/Favorite artwork? 

Michael: "Nighthawks" the Hopper painting. I had a reproduction on the wall at college.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Michael: I have to say the late Allen Ginsberg. I corresponded with him for 2 years. I showed up at his Institute in Boulder and met up with him again when he read at Harvard.  




                                  

Links:

https://www.dustpoetry.co.uk/post/lake-tomahawk-by-michael-igoe

https://lothlorienpoetryjournal.blogspot.com/2021/01/three-poems-by-michael-igoe.html

https://thepoetryquestion.com/2019/10/30/tpq5-michael-igoe/

https://www.sledgehammerlit.com/post/brass-monkey-by-michael-igoe

https://idleink.org/2020/04/04/origin-by-michael-igoe/

https://ephemeralelegies.com/2020/05/25/thin-disguise-by-michael-igoe/