the poetry that matters

Joe Milford

Joe Milford is the host of The Joe Milford Poetry Show (http://joemilfordpoetryshow.com) and the co-editor of Scythe Literary Journal (http://scytheliteraryjournal.com). His first book was published by BlazeVox press in 2010 entitled Cracked Altimeter. He is a full-time professor of English and Creative Writing in Georgia. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Volt, The Brooklyn Review, CUTTHROAT, 32 Poems, The Wild Goose Poetry Review, Knockout Lit, H_NGM_N, Action, Yes, etc.


Opera House of the Star Field

stem of apothegm stem   the face before the face     the place
                of phases fighting for stasis                           resounding phrases
what results from them   the music apostorium                     what next
                this way comes  frequencies          sonic curtains opened
vocal chords                                       open labia or                                       chrysalises
                caught? sarcophagus means                         cylindrical kinesis potential
a shredded opening, a molting                     or                            a lepidosis genesis?
                the –ings of things            what composition, this                   flesh?
                                                                show me with your lips
all bodies objecting to their itness                                an orgasm the greatest rebellion
                how to measure                 X                             to use the elliptograph
or the sextant                      various surgical instruments                        or syntax
                inheritance to fixed meaning                        the antiphasic                    chaotic
churning                              calm not the iris of storm horizon               next faces of
                lightning              emerging from the hypersea          of superstrings
is more cosmic hyperbole                               cloaking itself in body                     words
                the genes the spine on me the paragonals the dangling X-factors
                                                                of impetus and language
the epicenter       simultaneously                  frozen                    rampage of crystals
                exploding in light                             and what happens in                      the crude
moment of                                                           X                                                             the Creation
                the Eta Carinae suddenly assuming the shape of a human fetus
or a recognizable glyph                   or                            imagine cloud-reading as such
                here there are only periodic intersections  stems of apothegm stems
fields in bloom                                                   fields                     and fields in harvest



the quiet love of the inventor

I began in the mailbox and ended where the yew
reached into the blue. Sky I called you. What I felt by
rigid digit. My trousers covering secrets that I refused to
appendage. I know the mathematics of feathers
and their chances better than numbers mumbled.
If you don’t know who it is then I will hold down
all of the stones for you. I will finally admit it.
This is never too technique-clerical. Stars stare in
mirrors to lose their eyes and I will blindly tell you
secrets like the light which stains immeasurable. To speak
is to consummate children with the air. I become
the hardwood floor and seasons of ceilings come
crashing to me. Blood-red raped by blue-bloods in order
to birth this world-wide royal purple. To whisper to the corpse
is to breath for the loved one bereaved. I became talented
in braiding sand and unraveling water. The precious earth
changes not its tangle as human tussles. I cut passion in half
and I become the past. I chose to fall into a paper stomach-ache.
Swooncroon swan sang down into the snake-infested
pond. Think of one million reasons. Optimism is one
poppy harvest land-mining a battlefield. I have a brain-file
of my tokes. I did not surf I went headlong into the tidal wave
during the James Bond theme. My skin has sheet-rock
consistency on purpose. Shave everyday but not me.
The six-dollar-an-hour workers are the forgers of the everstuff.
Freckles don’t imitate stars vice-versa. But stars seem to imitate
your shoulders. Before the foreskins were cut there were
different flowers. To turn the sky inside-out is to reveal
eternal afterbirths. Placenta itching to the roots, like hair.
Each newborn, each spasm of a lapse, each code of time
distorted biologically erodes eventually into dregs of fractal
descriptions. Stories sometimes have a tale. And while
chasing tail i adulterate all clouds. I lean towards the opus ovum.



Beheld the Manifold Folds

of the overlapping behest. Joust not these
or dote upon the gauze of starlight. You will
heal nigh this forthright. Sincere, I will say,
that I am that soul, that one. No pardons in
particulars. They just plain is. Think: grains
on fake wood appear to be real wood grains, wow.
A condition as such inherent as it is an equation.
Explicitly, and to be quite frank, you are so.
Simple as, or as is, depending upon your socio-
ecologico-sexual position polestar in the cannibal
grove. Fruit-bowls amaze me. One of the only
constants throughout history. Whatever action
was taking place, there was a still-life sitting despondently
there awaiting rot. I am frisking you for what you have
stolen from this conversation. I’m a fruitcake but
with better taste. Astro heartland capsules. Perfect
imaginary vessels. Although June-bugs die promptly
enough they drone on and on. And flies never know
how to get smashed while they have spunk. And ants
watch too much TV, this is evident. Earthworms are
too Buddha. Butterflies were worn out way before Keats.
But, still, somehow D.H. pulled a fast one on us.
Maybe moths are a good bet. Enough craft coupled
with stupidly to lead an entire race fumbly clumsily
towards any light that presents itself on any street
that never ceases to present itself.



glass in slow motion breaking is the form of ideas forming.
insects birds bugs swarming is the form of ideas forming.
the slow congealing moon-surrender of morning is the form of ideas forming.
the crab crawling human’s can’t guess its motivations is the form of ideas forming.
the bees buzzing mono-pattern hiding symphonies of hive trafficking is the form of ideas forming.
the harmonica humming the slanted guitar-hand the piano improvisation is the form of ideas forming.
I catch these ghouls and ghosts in jars or at least I say that they are there constantly forming.
they aren’t specimens because of their constant formations but I could be coveting the thin air of the art of ideas forming.
it’s never the moon or the morning after, it’s not the crab-legs or the melted butter, not the honey-bread, not the albums playing, not the wanton touchings but it is the representation
of the invisible form of ideas forming


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                                                                                                                                   July 26, 2011