"Poets come out of your closets, open your windows, open your doors, you have been holed up too long in your closed worlds. Come down, come down . . ." --Ferlinghetti
Open mic poetry readings every thursday at 8pm with
your local Cooper-Youngin' Kim Hooss. Please bring
your heart with you.
Java Cabana Weekly Poem Archive
For the Knight I Never Meant to Fight
by Mary Burns
My heart troubled found me weak and weeping early morn’ face down
against the sheets, I held my tears tight but they did fall. I do not know
why I add weight to the love in solitude I carry, but questions of your earnest
affections towards me persist the need to call. In fear, I have drowned in dreams
of your sweet spirit felt so near I could not touch to hold. My body aches and waits
the claims of past possibilities we both did make with lips and tongue to drink and taste
our passion pressed and teased the ease of God’s good grace while innocence
made us too honest and too bold. You dare to smash the mirror. You dare
away with strings of new things yet not made. Without you here in shallow breath
I stare and weave my way through shadows I know by name. Ask me, am I grateful
despite words we might have left unsaid and better for it indeed we would have been,
Ask me, am I grateful for what I was before you came to light before me as I have
battled demons that battle to destroy not to defend; Ask me, would I do it all again?
My soul eternal, fairy-knowing may it be or some great Force or balance seeking me
lends advice to heal needs kinship with forgive and though love never ends, some
things must die in order for other things to live. There is chance past freedom to forget
the path made many generations before we took our first steps to their graves, we may
a miracle through brave hearts their fading stories filled our voices as our own and made us slaves,
we may a miracle undo our pattern fate, loving the darkness and the light as the same. Then
you and i through love and magic made tame one accord, burn like the Phoenix who rises
from the flame, witness music to our watchful ears, the sound of falling swords. I pray
your heart be true, my love is yours. Feel my surrender in these words.
For a small living, I sometimes watch people. The most familiar one I ever saw was that of a chubby, sun burnt girl in pigtails and a baggy t-shirt; and she was playing with her skip-it toy. I tried to imagine what might be motivating her to continue her physically demanding game with so much intent and vigor. I imagined her singing an innocent pop song to herself,
“Every ten consecutive hops cancel out one executive flop”
At least that was what she told herself
A teacher walks by her in the schoolyard and charitably lends a proud grin
In this one instance
her pre-made smile falls to mute
and the teacher’s once stiff neck accidentally crooks towards the ground
Her once seemingly distinguished approval
comparable to the ability of a newborn child
or worst, a still born
And what’s not funny about the three of our stories is that we’re all being left in that same proverbial school yard
left to watch
the older and leaner athletes
SWEAT TO WIN
WIN TO DIE
DIE TO SWEAT
And I know that we’re all confused as to why the grandest trophy is nothing more than a melting popsicle
What is the narrow mind of a visionary to be called this evening? A girl in patent leather shoes that sits on whatever sidewalk will welcome
her bumbling soles. A boy trapped in cubes of literature, myths of love lore that he foresaw, held like it was his first child, and abandoned
like a mysterious apparition I always knew and appalled. What is the life of vision to build mounds of minions and bulldoze pounds of brick?
What is the ability of a visionary to fight, fight, fight, but always withdraw. Always saw in two and choose neither but leave in panic and
recollect. Re-collect. Sip a cup of tea. Proceed to choose a stall. And stall STALL STALL. Fight it out visionary until the grand ball.
Second Job, 2:1
by Mary Burns
Being old and full of days, reason tasted just like raisins.
When it rained, Job watched a movie or two.
He decided he might as well know nothing or everything.
In those days, it’ didn’t matter. Like now, both averaged
The same weight. He made a list of his favorite hums.
He picked them apart for amusement. God noticed
Job and saw he was peculiar. God spoke to him,
“The path of happiness is not for you.” Job knowing
Everything spoke back rather dryly, “I know.”
God saw the critic in his creation and it humored him not.
“Job,” God spoke once more, “You can only kill the monster
When you realize you created it.” Job pretended not to hear.
by Mary Burns
You said "I'd give my right leg to make you happy."
I didn't think you meant it. Imagine
how I felt when you did. And since then there have been rumors
about the whole ordeal. The loss. The sacrifice.
Some are even calling it a gift. As if I have a use for an extra leg
laying around the house without its rightful owner.
It's not doing me any good. And the shock of it all.
I mean, you had it delivered like a box of long stem roses.
I didn't even know it was your leg. Well, not at first, of course.
All I could think was, who would send me a leg?
Who would send me a leg? Inevitably, I noticed
your green sock and dirty boot. Undoubtedly you.
I know you think you've done a good deed. Giving up
more than an ounce of flesh. And not to mention,
Sandy's Flowers received a good deal of publicity.
It's possible other men will follow. Now a simple "I'm sorry”
or a banquet of flowers isn't worth much compared to a leg.
I'll try and find a use for it. The neighbor next door has a dog.
I'm sorry but the leg has harden now and there's no way to fold it up
and put in a box or save it in an album. I'll tell you what, for you,
I'll make it art. That's the least I can do. But the truth is, I always liked your left leg better.