Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Few More Fold-Out Postcard Sonnets - 5/30


A cigarette drowns in a strawberry milkshake its
last words being Save the last dance for me as the
tumbleweeds waltz a Brahms waltz under a life
preserver orange TX sun May 1988

& Marlowe walks smack into the future into a
telephone booth misplaced in a spaghetti western an
unruly Rorsarch blot smearing the western horizon like
a down sleeping bag with egyptian dreams

But a few things are true at present a slice of
strawberry rhubarb pie drenched in melted vanilla
ice cream a dial tone chirping Waltzing Matilda

& Marlowe growing a little bit older as VT
sinks like a beer bottle in a stagnant beaver pond
whether or not Marlowe actually uses the phone

Jack Hayes
© 2010

This poem previously appeared on the Haphazard Gourmet Girls blog. Although the blog is no longer extant, the editors have my continued gratitude for the role they played in my return to writing poetry after a 12-year absence.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Few More Fold-Out Postcard Sonnets - 5/27


A quart of clamato & a wrecked green
canoe amongst loads of other stuff a stuffed
orange easy chair going up in smoke to the tune of
Beim Schlafengehen set by Richard Strauss sung by

Ms Melodramatic Archaic Ocean tragic as the
rain in Charlotte NC raining mandolins & buttons &
Vitamin B complex something Marlowe longs for
like a cigar store indian with a breathtaking crush

So Marlowe wants to unscrew his lid
& spill it There’re so many dishes surfacing in the
sink the toy boats have all run freaking aground like

an onslaught of words starring dirty windows like a
wishing well smashed with wooden nickels like a
waterlogged Kaw-Liga in a bonfire

© Jack Hayes 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Few More Fold-Out Postcard Sonnets - 5/23


Tweed birds— sporting thought balloons too thinking
gadzooks an unmanageable rainbow landing at the
        bus terminal

& other wooly entities in the bottlebrush trees &
tea kettles whistling thru Marlowe’s paranoia

So much for Wednesday’s red desert floribunda
with its debonair hopeless yodeling
The cigarette smoke’s a gray sky white planes
penetrate What could they be hunting down

A wool NY Yankees cap misplaced under a quilt
Or somewhere equally stifling
17 weeks of Sneaky Pete & smoke not to mention

oceanic dreams about steamships & icebergs emerging
under a hairy evening star that’s recuperating
like a fright wig floating above Point Lobos

© Jack Hayes 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Few More Fold-Out Postcard Sonnets - 5/21

A Few More Fold-Out Postcard Sonnets were written over a bit less than three months in 1996; the date on each poem indicates when it was written. I remember them as being pretty spontaneous overall, & while I’m sure I envisioned more than seventeen sonnets, I think the seventeenth sonnet, dated August 1, 1996, brought the sequence to a good end point. The sonnets will be posted here, one per week for the next 17 weeks!

Some people assumed at the time the sonnets were being written that the character “Marlowe” was literally intended to be Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe character. Tho I am a big Chandler fan & read him a lot around this time, this was at most a piece of the puzzle. I liked the name in general, & I also had the (reputedly) dissolute Elizabethan poet in mind as well as the fictional LA detective. There also are both autobiographical & imagined details contained in the character quite separate from either of those two figures.

One final note—just because I liked the way it looked, I abbreviated state names in these poems: VT=Vermont, VA=Virginia, etc. When I gave readings I would say the state name, not the abbreviation. The streets referred to are in San Francisco, mostly either in the Mission or the Western Addition (or betwixt & between the two.

The first sonnet was dated 5/21. Here it is:


A badminton net in a VT backyard afflicted with a
Rosicrucian sunset & an outbreak of communist mosquitos
buzzing a Manachevitz buzz in Mr Marlowe’s a-
symmetrical ears— & a transistor radio

perched in a scotch pine sporting superfluous
shades & crooning Blue Bayou— which is likewise
superfluous— as Baltimore Orioles
swooping into the hedge to roost make Marlowe think

Descartes was right for no particular reason
except he’s cadaverous drunk & shouldn’t be lounging
in the tattered green & white lawn chair after all

his eyes floating westward plasmic inside a spectacular
bronze Chevy Malibu 15 miles east of Needles
where shuttlecocks & fortune cookies are likewise dissolving

© Jack Hayes 1996-2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Heaven #4

There aren’t any plans, just sand dunes & morning sunshine w/ its coffee & scrambled eggs on a blue plate & so forth.

* * *

The zinnias are on the nod.

* * *

A snowdome in the midst of which is Max strumming a guitar. She has dreams about flamenco dancing on the deck of a packet boat. Were these packet boats or package stores?

* * *

Cigarettes lit & smoked in a gray frenzy.

* * *

The walls weren’t any color that’s got a name &
I wasn’t about to give them 1

* * *

The snow fell, each flake a homunculus w/ an umbrella.

* * *

Max & Jack in a parking lot under an orange marmalade full moon, & it’s dripping sweat & tears of rage & cigarette ash & bread crumbs. They all went out to breakfast.

* * *

What a plethora of picnics: & all w/ the accompaniment of a string quintet.

* * *

The stars were late—

* * *

The world’s up past it’s bedtime
It’s not the world’s bedtime it’s mine

* * *

They were never really lovers, it was just one of those unavoidable collisions in the midst of stoplights & Black-eyed Susans

* * *

How often can a memory warm a soul?

* * *

The night sky is puzzled & has only 1 cloud— there are a whole string of etcs & ampersands stretching toward the western horizon.

* * *

A lonely harmonica w/ laryngitis.

* * *

Ascending on funiculars into the constellations

* * *

A bassoon-like cough maybe like a couple bars from Franck’s
Symphony in D Minor

* * *

The nameless hour
the sky leaning upon the hills

Jack Hayes
© Jack Hayes 2010. All rights reserved