Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Stone Soup Croutons, 5-1-17, The Draw

Stone Soup Croutons is a weekly poem I write using lines and impressions butchered picked up from poems overheard from Stone Soup's open mic readers and features. I figure out a title (and sometimes the rest of the poem) later. You can read the other ones I've done since 2015 here.

This is the first time I've had to do a croutons poem on the very day Stone Soup Poetry was founded. Last night was Soup's forty-sixth anniversary. Carol Weston came out. Many people returned after being away for so long. Chris Fitzgerald even read a translation of poems by Wieczor Autorski while giving a nod to the Stone Soup open mic and presented one to me once the night was done. Stories of Jack Powers came early in the night, and while I wasn't planning a tribute poem--let alone a poem this long--that's what came out in the end. I appreciate the inspiration.

The Draw
for Stone Soup's Forty-Sixth Anniversary

The tension of hope
is enough to light a match.
You give your therapist
your thirty day notice
and hope they accept it.

You pray and yearn
for a divine answer,
think of the piece of mind
you'll give when you find out
the line between you
and your creator
is two-way.

until then, grab telephone poles
in search of connection,
put your ear to the wood.
All you'll hear is a plea
for extra onion rings.

Ask for the camouflage
of a caddisfly. See Jack Powers
spackle rust and paint
onto already-old khakis,
picking garbage to frame
with the same instinct
that let him take up
his mother's name

He reminds us that behind
every patriarchy
Is the woman the hurt,
knows even poets have claws,
That the only difference
between wolves and dogs
is size and expectation.

Jack wanted to be Bukowski
who didn't care if he was seen
as a dirty wolf or big dog.
The message was clear enough,
a perpetual grey day in his eyes,
twiddling his mistakes in his fingers
while typing away.

Jack tried to be Bukowski
and like too many,
he came close enough.
The howl for his open mic
is filled good intentions,
That value drops as e get older.
We wait for empty baskets
to become bombs.

You mask has no more seams
for you to pull off your face.
Poets don't stockpile guns or knives.
We're too dangerous to need them.

We do what we please.
We don't even keep fit,
anxious to meet God
before everyone else.

God is an elephant,
and all poets are blind
touching a part,
thinking it feels like
our favorite keepsakes.

The Jack of Hearts
is our first card tonight.
We keep trying for a second
regardless of the game.

Other face cards
resist our demands for luck.
We draw black spades, black clovers,
stain them with our sole bloody heart,
hoping for a dead man's hand.

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight. 

Special thanks to Dan Keller, Deb Priestly, Dan Sharkovitz, Erik Nelson, Blaine hebbel, Jeff Taylor, Dexter Roberts, Martha Boss, Toni Bee, Julia Carlson, Chris Fitzgerald, Rachael Ieszenberg, Lo Galluccio, Lee Varon, Devlin Cooper, Carol Weston and Reece Cotton. Extra special kudos to Neal Zagarella, who was absent but still represented with his poem about Jack Powers that was read by Blaine.

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