Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sonnets For Lily Yukon - 2. Last Chance Saloon

Say— nothing's sacred anymore in the world's northernmost
but there's a hypothermic bathtub & plenty of people drowning,
they're treeless islands in the wake of a heavenly cataclysm,
a paperback Moby Dick splatted against the wall;

& it might amaze you Lily to hear the meteorites splash breaking
        hearts across
unearthly breakers tossing around nude boats;
Oh the stars in these parts they have bad attitudes, the old man
Mostly they grind their resentful magnetic teeth

& there are a few other things you don't know:
for instance, I wanted you so badly when I got tossed ashore from
        that liquid oxygen heaven
I puked ocean snow & called it stellules;
& tonight's reek is retch & piss & a men's room white & for-
saken linoleum floor—an ice rink where I'm lying cold-cocked,
        a smoked Sockeye on ice, & only
my fingertips are still smoking

Jack Hayes
© 1990-2009


Sandra Leigh said...

I'm about to head out into the northern dark, John, on my way to work. When I look up at the stars, I'll think of them grinding their resentful magnetic teeth. Great imagery in this poem.

Karen said...

You are creating (or re-creating) a whole world for us here, John. I love the image of meteorites splashing breaking hearts and stars with bad attitudes, but it's the picture of the smoked Sockeye that caps this perfectly. You were in some place!

John Hayes said...

Hi Sandra & Karen: Thanks to you both! Since the Lily Yukon poems remained unread & unpublicized for close to 20 years, it's great to have such a positive response.


absolutely mesmerizing, john! it's so wonderful of you to share with us these beautifully moving words of yours - i've already been to the beginning, reading backwards from here - wonderful trip!

happy happy new year!

Dave King said...

I am amazed. I tried this blog a couple of times a while back, but couldn't get on to it. I shall be trying again in future. Not what I expected, but a mine in which to dig for gold, I think. Have a great New Year.

John Hayes said...

Hi Dave: Thanks! Glad you had a chance to look around here, & please drop by any time the mood strikes. Happy New Year to you & yours!

John Hayes said...

Hi Jenean: So glad you enjoyed the material here--there's a lot more to come! Happy New Year to you.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Great poem John, brilliant to be able to read them here.

John Hayes said...

Hi TFE: Thanks! I've been really happy with folks' response to this lil ol' poetry blog; glad you liked it.

Poetikat said...

Wow! The images in this one are pretty in your face. (Which is how I like 'em!)
Cold-cocked. That caught me up short.
I wanted to splatter "Moby Dick" against a wall when I had to read it in university, let me tell you.

John Hayes said...

Hi Kat: I think many folks have had that feeling about the "whale" of a book! I actually liked it, but I read it when I was still drinking!

Poetikat said...

I should have tried that.