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Christopher J. Grasso

Cling Clang

Steel guitar pedals
Blues songs by basic black men
Stumming their sorrows

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Nonprecious Metal

Silver discolors like
Rust on metal left outside
Once the Season’s take turns

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Dog Day

All dogs are born to sleep in the sun.
When the ground a blanket, green grasses pillows
When the spring breeze exhales
puff of dandelion that float for homes

for

hours intrinsic mystery in sun yellows set

All this and winter as dogs are tied
confined on cold concrete leashes
arthritis built like new houses laying on cold sweat
food dish has frozen foulness
that even dying blue jays would not steal

In their eyes you can see the urgency of speech
Day of the dog lays below the sun, never in evenfall
For trembling the howls of dog like creatures
stroke of midnight’s call
Fear the unwitnessed dog sleeping under no sun

[...] Read more

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Rational Shortcomings

(An intertexual marriage poem of an excerpt from a teacher’s letter to parents, a letter from a mother to the child she gave away for adoption and a letter that I should not have seen)


Dear Parents or Guardians,
First I want to say that I didn’t hand you over because I hated you
The photography man is coming
Hello, I just wanted to remind everybody about spelling
I didn’t hate you you might not believe me but I truly love you
Between 6: 30AM and 6: 45AM to set up
The last test scores were horrible and I threw them out
I want you to know that I am hoping you are reading this letter
I warned him that the klubs are here in the morning
I will not do so again
And hope you do not have any hate in your heart for me
Until 8: 30AM
Your child should practice spelling their words
Because if my life was different I would have kept you
He still wanted to come
And do their spelling homework every night
So close to my heart because you are so special

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The Keeper Of The Beast And Chestnut

Little fingers rattle the cage of the mysterious union of boy and dog
A dog filled with an empty stomach but full of ringworms
My new dog, whom I urged to pet, but was scolded - he might bite
My dog covered with filth like the chimney smoke of silt, released in the Industrial Age refineries
Whose sad bark translated to: I’m a water-dog, purify me! Purify my soul!
That water being an angel brushing off the graining tombstone of what once was
My dog, a polished broad pup, sloppily wet but content
Whose coat was itchy but clean from concentrated dish detergent
Who was wondering of his new surroundings,
and strange new noises to bark loudly at, in the night
Whose vet trips and vitamins pumped him to an enormous size
Whose runs in the yard became Indian midget trails
My dog, the dumb one, who would see-saw with me
Who would slide down the sliding board, like a rambunctious child, head first
Who loved to bite through things except my arm, shoved into his jaws, as a test he always passed
Whose claws were raptor sharp, and provided the dirt digging ability to escape into neighbor’s plots
My dog, who outweighed me by fifty pounds and made sure strangers knew this before they reached the front step
My dog, black haired, a thick virgin forest of midnight, streaming and shedding in the summer time
Whose lapping pink fleshed tongue in such a hot day, would yearn for his bucket of water
Whose chest muscles were defined like the promontory coastlines of North and South Carolina

[...] Read more

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