Dan Ames



she whispers into my truculence and I succumb to that thing called faith
that blind old hag who left me and my brothers and sisters under the overpass
she strokes her way into my soul and a divining rod slips from the heavens
a greasy old senior citizen with stale coffee breath and a proverb for any situation
she recounts the transgressions from a lifetime ago with a glassine vision
the images move in a circular sway, dashing from light to dark, truisms to falsehoods
this is a woman, my friend, with whom you can ride the river and gaze at the mountain
this is a woman with a heart fired by the very furnace of Hell yet beats with the sonnets of God

The Truth

you can move mountains with those grinning shady shadows
you can conquer entire island countries with an effortless underhand
these are the basics for someone like you
merely the ground floors of a grand edifice you’ll have finished by fall
but that one true thing, that one beautifully lofted spiral
spinning in the purity of an honest man’s heart
that is the moment when the smile slides
from your tanned and polished façade
and crashes to the echo
legs and arms and spindles

I am always the afterthought
the last blush of color
once the petal has hit the ground
I am the soft blur of motion
tickling the periphery of light
the detail devoid background
at best a utilitarian frame
my purpose to merely focus the eye
on the hero composition
I am the last car on the train
yet most likely
the first to arrive
at oblivion

What is HE doing here?
His head is monstrous
a blood splatter among the renaissance masterpieces
He is nothing but a boweevil
among the softest and most pure cotton
a necessary evil
says the lark
in the serviceberry
Death by Chimney
A fierce electric current
something mechanical almost
inhuman above the fireplace
they said to go out at night
look at the chimney
a cloud of bats frenzied
whipping like lines over a trout stream
the first person talked of a trapdoor
breeding seasons
the second guy
a true Detroit 313 area code
said no problem
he was a wrinkled old black guy
probably eight years old
got a Free Press?
he said
He used two ladders to get to the top
fired up his Bic
and got the job done
like all of the infiltrations
and bad marriages and
hatred pure and poisoned
we can choose how we solve them
the clean, hard way
or the fast, dirty way
I prefer solutions that start with a 313 area code


Copyright © 2009 Dan Ames

Dan Ames is a poet living and working in Detroit, Michigan.  He has had poems recently published in Magnolia: A Florida Journal of Literary and Fine Arts, The Centrifugal Eye, Nefarious Ballerina, Flutter Poetry Journal, Thick with Conviction, Circle Show, Opium Poetry, Thieves Jargon, Merge, Stone’s Throw, Tangent, and Bijou Poetry Review.  More poems are slated for 2009 publication in Edison Literary Review, Thieves Jargon, Tonopah Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Pulsar Poetry UK and the Ambassador Poetry Project.