the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




FIVE WORKS
BY J KEVIN WOLFE

POEMS FROM 'THE YEAR OF PURPLE LAWN FURNITURE'

BOSNIAN COFFEE

Grind beans to graphite.
'Not fine enough' Mensura says
Mohammud's chuckle rumbles

Roast half-a-minute in the pot.
Gilded handle arches
Pot smalls at the brim

A teaspoon heap for each half-demitasse.
'Refuge tore
the shirts off our backs
This ritual of coffee
is all we could carry'

Add half-a-pot of boiling water. Stir.
A froth tans the surface
'Blood's not this thick'

Add the other half.
Mohammud lights a Drina
It demures in his hand

Secrete blackvenom into thimbles.
The oil's skin rises
into a rainbow of indigoes

Don't let it sit.
'Bean ghosts grow bitter'
His laugh thunders
It frightens the Drina's smoke

Place two sugar cubes beside each.
Sockheads bombed his house
They missed his laugh

Dip the diamonds. Nibble.
War gnawed Sarajevo
His dirty jokes kept them sane

Swig the silt. Repeat at 4pm.
Specks pepper the bottom
and haunt the cup

================

TO MARY IN ARIZONA #1

It didn't work
I was in love
Love slurs judgment
She galloped
Only she can tame herself
I have a hairline fracture
for a keepsake
Still love me?

================

INFIDELITY

Ethel I thought I'd stop by...
Henry what are you doing here?
-Oh hello dear

You told me
you put on your best sweater
for a lodge meeting
-I'm having tea dear

Tea? With Ethel?
-Mildred
 We're not having sex
 We're having tea

Henry
You're not capable
of sex anymore
You're capable
of tea

================

DROWN OUT

God tries to fill
a church with light
He never
succeeds

Or maybe
He uses darkness
to accent
His point

The windows
bleed sun
It drowns out
the pastor

shifts focus
from the sermon
to Himself

A hundred souls
sequestered in pews
None listen

Each wonders
what God is doing
on His day off

================

FOR THE PERFUME

I thought She was woman
but She lets Her mortality slip
and I see the goddess

Other women are fakes
She alone
is worth worshiping

She finds me human
My praise amuses Her
My flaws are all I see dancing
in the mirror of Her eyes

She's wrapped
in a mortal sari
Modest of Her perfections
Doesn't flaunt the cosmos
because veils drive a man wild

She made the seasons
to show Her mood change
It's clockspins
calculated by sextant
yet seems coin flippant

She made spring:
for the perfume
Summer:
to recall heart's swelter
Fall:
for the threat of life without Her
Winter:
a hint of Her wrath of silence

Every kiss
is a prayer offered to Her
not just a curiosity
for the taste of Ambrosia
still on her lips

Every intimacy with Her
a sacrifice
of more than's in me

Each worship is a devotion
to the goddess
feigning she's woman