RWB Workshop Poems of the Week – April 24

Poems of the Week 04/24/18

Agriculture Aggregated

Bill Moreland

Little Bear said,
Cut me open, climb inside,
let me keep you warm.
Dunce cap tee-pees,
more ‘had’ than fooled
for repeated lessons
never learned.
Ranges and treaties
far-reaching but broken.
Gold grain woven
with staggered gray piping.
Totem poles and refinery columns.
Mud packed adobes
and stalactite ceilings.
The swallows are nesting
in the barbed wire.
The fires are smoldering
in the fallows.
The farmers’ sons cut through them
with a shallow plow.
Sparks crisscross
the crossed-out lower forty.
The perverted profit yielding
a zero sum’s gaming
propped up soy prices
with shortages.
There’s a Xerox in the barn,
the cows are multiplying,
extra buckets are required.
Manure boots
and three-piece overalls.
Aching bunions call for a drop in the market.
The Wall Street Journal predicts a calf by half spring.
Dawn on the farm,
like automatic garage doors,



Arthur Russell

I don’t want to write a poem to you
or to the dark mole on your arm,
to your affection threading a finger under my shirt cuff,
or your octopus-ink-in-the-water soul.

I don’t want to meet the onrush of your love with words
that may deflect and send it away at an angle
I can only watch with regret, or use my verbal facility to suggest
that I am anyway the master of this rowboat.

But I will write a poem to you in the shape of a couch,
with the sound of the people talking out in the hall
and the smell of a store you haven’t been to in years
where discount dungarees were stacked on rough tables,

and the owner’s mother stopped you from pawing through the piles
by asking, in the nicest way, what you were looking for.

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