Christopher Mulrooney

5 Poems

the training wheels

winter comes in off the wastes
with a mounting specification
of just how many true to form were
spoken of out of hand atlas-found
mysterious in all its terrible new beauty
found Schocken-bound heedless of the new arrangements
"signifying nothing" for the nonce
the speculation of it the proud gustos
dynamical the outer spread the outer saying
let there be peace come between me and thee

progress alerts
right as the rain unto wind
the paralyzed beau less
strain more whinny in the
Muir woods cachinnating
this is not the loss as suchlike
memory proclaims a devil drive down
to the lingonberries and Limburger
you step back away from the car
the nexus of the ring hopeful
as the young author sprockets
the whole reel of film unwinding
all the way down to flappers
and flivvers and floozies at the camp
the summer camp drama course
here is the heroes' vindication
right from the front pages of history
a sort of old gang joke the sort that
goes a chorus line up in the Gay Nineties
or something like that silver-tinted
a starfish revolving up onstage
yes that kind of joke not worth the
cummerbunds they rent you for the
kind of bash they rent you things like
cummerbunds to wear at nowadays
it must be some things like the
ramshackle contrivance and the wherefore
like a legal terminology in dog Latin
office clerks take down in scribbled shorthand
read back the deposition states the witness
yes Your Honor no he isn't here just say
what happened in your own words nothing more
well you see it happened on this wise Your Offer
shreck dagnabbit o enough just say it please
well I was walking down the sidewalk yes
go on go on well as I pursed my lips a man
put money that's it stop the tape Your Honor
palfrey in the deserts riding high in triumph
over the dunes the dusty trail foreseeing
wastrels pinchpennies and the casual reader
lost for want of notes that mortgage wits
on pain of very easily stretching see the
TV director as if exercising a taffy pull
no no leftover images they're borrowed
seat you in the table and chairs you own
fast sprechen sie Deutsch with a will
no putsch no contraverting the gainsaid
no withering looks that daffodils can't survive
only the calm tumulus in the unquiet city
you revolve in so long as the fast-spinning globe
cares away from it all rejecting force of
argument they spit upon or swallow
ungratefully who read these things for news

the awards show-and-tell
terrible éplucheurs raid your
icebox at night it's the brand name
action you can't stand
if it's the same damned
lack of beforehand kowtow
underneath it's the lame daisy
then came the cars along the lane
with a whiskbroom savages
the very neon signs
for the very effrontery of it
shapes and colors on the very
avenue you walk on
evanescent appalled not you
clouds synonyms wading souls
not you firmly thundering feet

the deathtrap of the heavenly machine
gives out nought noise and the sparks
of the flaming angelic
things that corrupt
bowing down you kiss the rod it's been
you know not where

wistful jurisdictions
farthings cast upon the
waters bring forth
plonk and drop
to the miry beneath
they will rise in Hawaii
simulacrumed in dreamed
cars Stanley steamed
over Africa by and by

it as a devised stratagem
won't deviously St. Bartholomew
variations à la Handel
to sport the mind Letheing
but shall cavort itself thus
alee and the windblown haven
it evermore councils just
harry and the beachcomber
wading into surf to extract
subtraction from the sum of flotsam
jetsam out the myriad debris
a literal then I can call a loan
at autumn polls and equinoxes
in the forestation of obnoxious umbrage

Christopher Mulrooney has written poems and translations in Horse Less Review, Mustachioed, Segue, Dispatch and Indefinite Space, criticism in Parameter, The Film Journal and Pyramid, and a volume of verse, notebook and sheaves (AmErica House, 2002).

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