Brian Dawson is the author of The War On Unicorns (Words Dance Publishing, 2015) from which, selected with permission, the following poems are taken.
Your lips stand flirtatious,
rebellious against the puritanical
rumors of their guests. A remade red dress
hangs lugubriously on a wooden rack
in a closet left over from
the Mormon migration. Voices
burst to a climax. Everyone is looking
for the New American poetic consciousness.
Forgiveness is the hardest part.
Everything is sentimental. Whispers shimmy
through cracks in concrete structures,
slide or stumble over empty sidewalks-
step, strut, and sway against forgotten statues
until all that is left is the sibilance of old secrets.
Most graduates wish they were mollycoddled,
nice nails and a good strong hair line.
The milksops were always the first to fail.
Down off Miller’s Crossing, across the street
from Our Sister of Salvation, forty foster children
wait in the searing cold for hand-me-down jackets,
halfhearted hot chocolate, and to hear stories.
We are never alone. After hours of work,
the shoes the fisherman’s wife wears
are some jive ass slippers.
I blow into my hand
and out comes necessity.
The farmer’s wife becomes dust.
Five lines on Modern Art.
I am Moses, she is life.
Your mother and I found out
about you five hours after we
broke up for the second time.
The ecclesiastics never paid
attention to abstinence, astrology,
perfidy, or other
instinct-controlling philosophies. A
younger version of myself
seldom scuffs at night,
au courant to the constant swing
of city, her rhythm and dynamics.
We can’t fathom history
or know God.
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