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Archive for the ‘Harry Calhoun’ Category

Different Light

By Harry Calhoun

In any afternoon there is the chance
of a nova
and you know how it looks
and how it sounds and how it tastes.

The ice cream and the light show
of the universe are yours
because you are a freak.

And the sunshine causes seizures
and the left eye fractures
into splintered light triangles,
painful little migraines
of creativity.

Don’t shoot, clutch memory
like a silk purse of stars,

there is the defiant chance
of a nova, the smack on your lips
of ice cream, the morning shot

of tequila, the light show.

Be brave, it is scary, it is you.

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Laboratory and Omelet

By Harry Calhoun

We make it every day,
the egg and the experiment,
the wine that doesn’t quite
mix with the meal the way

it’s supposed to. We read about it
in a language that doesn’t fit
the recipe. Life carries us
like carrion or hospital patients

into kitchens not our own.
Every day is the egg and the experiment.
Crack it open and explore
what goes wrong and how to cope

with that. And how to get beyond
and wake to the next day.

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Flickers

By Harry Calhoun

3:15 a.m. and I want to light the television
against the night, but the shows are banality
and late-night horror. I’ve had enough of both,

and candles lit would remind me of lovemaking.
I would probably forget to quell their flames
and burn down the house in a smoky mess.

The dog sleeps quiet as innocent night,
contented and curled into himself.
From this I take some measure of hope,

flick the light off my thoughts and try
to head back into candleless, TV-free sleep,
the slumber of the uneasy waking to a slender diet

of more of the same in the dim but certain light
of tomorrow, the cigarette glowing,
burning too close to the filter.

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the deer, where they belong

By Harry Calhoun

And the deer jump out wide-eyed
in front of the headlights
and we leap into the oncoming traffic

and instinct might make us each
a stereotype, but that is not the only
act we perform. The deer is meat,

we are mortal and so much the same,
surprised by bright lights and the last
hard bump of something smacking us

upside the head, reacting, simply reacting,
the first thing and the last thing
we know

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By Harry Calhoun

We’re talking Jupiter, bigass planet
but where the hell is it? Behind some cloud,
probably, even if not, I got no telescope.
OK, so we’re talkin’ the largest oyster

ever spotted in the depths of the sea.
Never saw that, either. We’re talkin’ about amoebas
and other creatures you can’t see
with the naked eye. Or we could be

talking about the obvious you never see.
You know, the huge red inkblok,
a colorful Rohrshach sleeping beside you
like the faithful dog that you ignore

because it’s kinda creepy and a different species.
We sometimes ignore that which we can’t see.
that is our doom, the oyster, the amoeba,
the bright red spot and the obvious that

we are not equipped to see.

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I Just

By Harry Calhoun

Trying to figure out what I want
I fire this out there in the desperation
of insomnia like trapped claustrophobia

on a submarine, a torpedo to launch
or a beam to shine. Attack or illuminate,
it’s all the same to me. I just

want results. I just
want to get back to sleep. I just
want to make sure the corkscrew

antes up the bottle instead
of cracking the pride of County Cork.
I want to make sure the job

or something equally money
is still there tomorrow. I just
hope this latest flashstorm

burst of insomnia gets me some answers
or at least finds me some sleep

to replace it with

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By Harry Calhoun

Rain clicks a morose Morse code
on the skylight, and I want to go
back to sleep but I need red wine

or brandy , and it seems too early, but
if it’s late enough for rain, then
why not brandy? I called her

and I know she’s busy
and that’s why I left a message,
but everything seems more melancholy

when it’s raining and what goes better
with melancholia than a fat spicy red wine

or a glowing warm snifter of brandy?

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