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Robert Dickerson

Bus Poem #14: Materialism

Question: How does cold weather affect subway service?
Answer: It makes it colder.

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A Pure Strain

Longshoreman child
of a longshoreman
husband of a
longshoreman's daughter,
in you we perceive
a pure strain.

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What The Bird Sang

Happy Bird Day to you
Happy Bird day to you
Happy Bird day, Happy Bird day,
Happy Bird Day to you!

So sang the parrot, Morgan Lafite.

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Simile

You are like a goddess when you
laugh like a goddess and the stars,
those churches of wisdom,
whirl in your eyes and you tap your boy
and bend low and speak low in his ear.

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Never played...

I never played Yankee Stadium
or the Palladium
but I'm a rock star.

'Never met Janice
Jimi or Bob
but I'm a rock star,

drumming the air,
busting guitar
only in my dreams.

But I'm a rock star, babe.
And I know a chord
you never heard-

NeverherdB4!
cuz I'm a rock star
and like John Lennon, I
am very bored.

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Helicon

Hesiod on Helicon
to the Muses, that dawn
the sky a pink sheet
behind a saffron sun
mountains running all around.
'Hi girls, what's up'?

Tipping her cup
ventured the tallest one
'We know how to look a mint
'even though we're poor as sin'.
mountains running all around.

'Say, do you have the time'?
'Hey. can you spare a dime'?

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Journal Jotting

Andalusia, pursued by Furies, may have a panic disorder.
Will it work?
$150 per month, divided between the kids by the grandmother.
Will it work? Out?
Zulemma's final workday
misty, warm and gray
cold, though, in the subway.
Coming from both directions
the trains are loud-
vent irony syllables,
throwing down light and kicking up sparks.
Next?

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Spring Comes To Old 14th Street

Spring comes to old 14th street-
under their tarpaulins
the bums yawn and stir their limbs
Winter no more rankles their ankles.

Spring comes...
(ginkoes gasp into rheumy bloom)
...to 14th street:
glass glistens there, here,

white, scotoma-bright
the concrete.

A bird unzips the sky.
the gosh-darn Spring comes to ancient 14th Street-
here's grit in your eye.

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Bus Poem-4b

Sad but clean cat turns cards three by three:
red queen on black king. Nine on ten.
The table is lame, the cream uneasy in the bowl.
Pupils dilate slowly in the evening light.
A wee fray of gnats rollics on the lawn.
Some stars are struck, little yellow aces.
The game is up, cat, up. Cat don't cry.
Somewhere cuckoos and clarinets coo.
What is that furtive tear in cat's eye?
Cat, let it go. Cat, snap out of it!

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Bus Poem #4

A bird drops from the sky, hops to a new twig.
From the ground a cat spies him, falls in love.
Birdie strops his beak on a branch.
Cat pretends not to notice.
Birdie stretches his leg. Shuffles his wings.
Cat makes love to his paw.
A yellow feather drifts slowly to earth.
With its voice of blood cat's heart says 'ah'.
Called to the skies the birdie flies. Away.
Cat, broken-hearted, washes his ears with his tears.

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