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




THREE WORKS
BY KENNETH WANAMAKER

WRITER'S BLOCK

A granite boulder large
as a hot air balloon
juxtaposed with futon and night stand,
out of place or in place
depending on your view.
A Zen garden?

What ceremony, then, to lift
the weight, the heft,
dissolve the mica,
pattern the ceiling in quartz?

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

WAR STORIES

Its time for another war.
Its on all the marquees,
critics are flocking to the premiere.
But this year I am not attending.
I am turning off the radio, avoiding
the papers. I hear it

from the neighbor boy. We sit on the stoop
and he tells me about scud missiles racing across the screen
between Sesame Street and Survivor,
villages blasted out of sight, Snap! Crackle! Pop! 'put a tiger
in your tank'.
                    At 8:00 pm, our time, while troops march
on a heat seeking mission Daddy tucks him in, opens a story book, scares him
with tales of St. George and the fire breathing dragon.

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

TONIGHT I AM READING A WAR POEM

...for in truth/ we have no gift to set a
statesman right; W.B Yeats, On Being Asked For A War Poem

It is time to take a shower and get cleaned up
Time to scrub the ears and throat
For tonight I am reading a War poem
Tonight I am grinding the war bone.

Tonight I am reading work that doesn't work,
words of passion's princes,
tonight I am reading their war poems
to ears tilted and cocked.

Tonight I am cleaning my muzzle
tonight I am toweling my cheek
for the tale of the ball turret gunner,
the love for a boy in arms.
Tonight I smell of Barbasol
wear a tiger lily in my lapel,
tonight I am reading a war poem
tonight I am bringing the war home
tonight I've a tale to tell.