BAP Quarterly

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Poetry



Nightmare About A Piano
by: Andrew Abbott

Dick Bentley

Landlocked

David Breeden

Seeing

Mike Finley

Sky Repair

Jamie Iredell

THE ENORMOUS BICYCLE

Kirsten Ogden

Body of Sky

Stephen Mead

Aerial
Night Skies
Atmosphere

George Moore

The Loser’s Guide to Time Travel
Space In This Poem

Craig Santos Perez

‘No layoff from this condensery’
Socks

Aniruddhan Vasudevan

Coming Out

Third Space

 

 

 

 


 

 

Landlocked

Twice a day
     the equilibrium shifts.
The tide runs up the bay
     into the river,
then the river runs out
     into the bay.
Twice a day
     birds rise and settle,
an osprey dangles
     in the swift wind.
Half asleep, I dream—
     or think I dream—of dairy cows,
dairy cows who used to graze on the salt grass
     of the submissive tidal flats. If time were like the tide,
we would surge into the future
     then rush back into the past
twice daily, with the present
     only the expectation or regret
of the equilibrium shifting,
     and if the river could type,
this is how it would sound:
     a soft rush and whisper of keys
on a flat surface,
     a current of brisk sighs.

back to the top

by: Dick Bentley

 

 

 

 


 

 

Seeing

Like the ceiling for the sick
Staring too long
Blemishes and patterns
 
Forming into things
St Bernards jumping clouds
Minotaurs drinking beer
 
Staring too long
And patterns appear
Cryptomorphs from chaos
 
Patterns and patterns
Designs in the mind
Only in the mind

by: David Breeden

 

 

 


 

 

Sky Repair

As a child I had a recurring dream.
The sky was a tent-top of glass, or porcelain
And when I saw a crack begin to form,
It was my job to repair the crack.

I climbed a ladder to the brink of the sky
and I was patching the crack with spackle
When another crack formed,
and another, and another.

The profoundest grief swept over me,
Knowing my job was impossible to do.
The atoms of the universe were coming apart
And how did I get saddled with this.

Then I woke up to my sister dying in one room,
My mother sobbing in the next,
My father snoring drunk in the third.
The atoms of the universe coming apart,

And my job, repairing the crack.

by: Mike Finley

 

 

 


 

 

THE ENORMOUS BICYCLE

was not always this huge, nor I.
We grew like redwoods, equally
slow, together. I found
my bicycle crippled, tireless,
tangled in the kudzu. Resurrected,
shining like a Cadillac, we pedaled
Southern streets, the diamonds
sparkling in the asphalt. I felt
the tug of my bicycle while chained
to its rack outside the Highlander,
where I'd lassoed myself
a barstool. My bicycle grew
lonely. I found another bicycle
rusting in the Salvation Army.
Sparks flew, molten metal, a bicycle
marriage. Still, my bicycle pestered
me from its empty bike rack,
witnessing after-school fights,
while I licked away whiskey
trapped in my cuticles.
I bought my bicycle shots of Jaeger.
We rode to Vickery's, to the Righteous
Room, to Smith's. My bicycle and I
grew attached—as they say—at the hip.
Though, realistically, we'd fused
at my crotch. Soon I saw the pebbles
below the tires were really boulders
and automobiles, that the bike trail
was a grid of city streets,
and the patchwork I had taken
for flagstones were houses
and skyscrapers. My bicycle and I
topped mountains—bunnyhopped
the Rockies, splashed across a puddle—
the Pacific. We dipped down
Everest and ground the spokes
against the Great Wall. And soon
my bicycle and I had grown
too big, even, for the planet, each orbit
a single secondary lap. My cap
knocked the space station
into the asteroid belt. I stroked the moon
and my fingers grayed with dust.
My retinas sizzled in the sun's rays.

by: Jamie Iredell

 

 

 


 

 

Body of Sky

I follow you through empty evenings,
a rainless cloud, light and full of mist.
Engulf my body. Spin me through your life.
 
We could rip trees by roots from hard dirt,
splash through mud, leave footsteps
to be filled by other, smaller clouds.
 
Tomorrow I won’t follow. I will walk ahead—
let my body grow heavy in dark wind, wring
myself like mother’s old dish towels laid
across the cutting board. Oh,
 
but wait for me. I can be Artemis, Persephone,
Aphrodite; a body made from stars and comets.

by: Kirsten Ogden

 

 

 


 

 

Aerial

Views are dots:
This planet, that other-----
Perfect circles, perfect space &
The calm so absolute with every hued
Orb intensifying the gigantic black…

Ball after ball, I lay down & pray to this,
The symmetry, the distances, the teeming,
Milling intricacy whose fibrous cells
I also love…

Give me asteroids, their random gravitational
Pull.  Give comets as bull’s eyes-----

Clouds go over like the music of ivy,
A Brahms sonata there in those stems,
Brahms meeting the international, multi-
Cultural, the jazz, sitars & hip hop…

Hop, hop, I am loose & I am hip
Over the earth’s variations & what lies beyond
Its skins-----
Eyes as flesh, every pore as silk, as sifting
Deserts, as Kilimanjaro snows, & we all
Warmth only, one more mass energy

Simply significant

 

by: Stephen Mead

 

 

 


 

 

Night Skies

Travel on the backs of black wings,
The big birds of silences, of invisibilities
Found in thousands of rustling feathers
As one above trees, town, feeling
That breath, its passage
As a sea of deep glass pockets,
Deep glass sleeves
Revealing the clouds, the stars
& the motion of a new day behind
These hills, these horizons, this time

by: Stephen Mead

 

 

 


 

 

Atmosphere

Air here

                  (can you)

largest mob scene

                   (read me)

in miniature

                  (over)

all over 

                 & absorbed

simple relation

                      (may day)

respiration

                     ( may)

the dinosaurs

                     (day     return)

the endangered 

                         (air)

paws, horns, pores

                         (air here)

how, after

                          (may day)

give skin back

                             (can you)

who, before

                               (read me)

sounds the alarm            (over)


by: Stephen Mead

 

 

 


 

 

The Loser’s Guide to Time Travel

You were standing in the doorway
or in the hallway, next to the frig or
upstairs on the landing, briefly

on the shoreline on Shi Shi beach
or at Basecamp with the yaks and magpies
(did I know there were magpies?)

and for a moment it is all clear
this spatial confusion, this drifting you do
between places you have never been.

You were and now you are not,
I am here only remembering, building
a cage in my mind for you

transplanting you into the many,
playing the game of memory.  Every time
I go to get a fresh beer, you disappear. 

No that’s not right, but in time it rhymes,
and that is enough to make you appear
beneath the covers, at that indelible moment

when I was just home from India.
Do you remember?  I’ve often asked myself.
You were and are someone else.

And it just won’t fade.  That’s the thing
about memories, indelible as they are,
they are lies that will not go away,

situating you wherever you are then,
right in the way, moving you about forever,
keeping you standing there in the doorway.

by: George Moore

 

 

 


 

 

Space In This Poem

by: George Moore

 

 

 


 

 

‘No layoff from this condensery’

I bought you a red Ipod
for Xmas.

In limited space
for the free engraving:

‘download
my love for free’

by: Craig Santos Perez

 

 

 


 

 

Socks

“I need my socks,”
you say curled
on the couch.

“Well,
go get them,” I say.

“I cant.
The cat’s sleeping
on my lap.”

“Fine.
Where are they?”

“One is on the bed,
one is in the bed”

Would we parade
our crimes
in front of an open window?

by: Craig Santos Perez

 

 

 


 

 

Coming Out

Coming out of this, coming out of that,
Coming out as this, coming out as that,
Coming out as not this and not that,
Coming out even as not quite this or that,
Coming out over and over.
Not quite knowing what you were in
That you came out of
Or came into.
Out isn't quite outright out
Since you seem to always have more
To come out of,
as and into.
We needn't go about this for long,
If we start pulling down the walls.

by: Aniruddhan Vasudevan

 

 

 


 

 

Third Space

Standing nose-to-nose with it
didn't help.
Both life and I dealing 
in feverish hot breaths
and squinting hard to see
(or not)
the scars so close
on each other.
So we agreed
to put poetry between us. 
We are fine with the eclipses. 

by: Aniruddhan Vasudevan

 

 

 

 
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