Monday, January 7, 2013

6 Poems by Paul Sohar

The Stolen Pen

The thief. The pen. The desk.
               The theft.
Thieving magpies streaking across
                the ceiling.
I hear cries for help. Help! But I
                don’t move.
I can’t. No one can help. Maybe
         someone else, but not me, don’t ask me, why me?
                  Why me?
It’s all over. Don’t bother me. I am not
                  a believer
just because I believe. I believe  a lot
                 of things.
Things I would never admit to, things behind books.
                   Meta-books. Theft.
I steal. I believe whatever someone else
and even swear to it. I am a thief of beliefs,
I have none. Or too many. All piled up
                   in a cloud
and I can never lay my hands on any one
so I go on stealing new ones. More
                   and more.
And lose them soon in the cloud of the rest,
               an amorphous
bookcase where nothing can be found and
                  nothing hidden.
A cloud of nothing. Nothing except for
          a puddle with a tax i.d. and address floating in it.
               I need a pen
to scribble specs on the cloud, mustache on a rose,
                a name on the wind.                                                                                       

(Partially a "found text"; the variation in font is entirely due to a genie in the computer.)

Serenade of Queens Boulevard

you’re a queen in distress
in need of rescue from
the castrated jaws of jesuits

you need an Attila
to invade
your queendom

an invasion that will crack
the hymn-lined dome
of your boredom

even your eyes will stay
for the rest of your reign

your ears will stay
nailed down to your majestic smile
on your wings

a hand used to holding the hilt
will take hold of
your naked glory

the bare prison walls
of your story
will guide a hand in your

fourth-floor walk-up studio
to find the power button
of your ingrown tv set


a dog barks to call for attention
a cat meows to protest it
but a car roars to do both

snatching and smashing your mind
in a guttural dialect

a car that moves silently
doesn’t move at all
only changes its place on the map

if you want to move and really move
you need a convertible with the roof
ripped off and the muffler shot

you need a car that can batter its way
through the silence of distances

a car that moves every cell in your body
in a different direction
all over the landscape

and its engine needs to explode
into a teaming junkyard in the sky

where every wreck is on the move
wrecking every other wreck

clanking roar comes
crashing down on your car that started it all
smashing the map and the landscape

but who cares when you want to move

when you want to splatter your brains in a streak
regroup all your organs into redemptive speed
and grind your slow-witted legs to pulp

when you want nothing but movement
that goes on accelerating beyond
the farthest junkyard of the universe

beyond the white noise of freefall


facting naked facts
on the floor
of a nude apartment
the bare walls open up
charts without the curve
two of us go circling planets
factors facting our facts
on the floor
in front of the window
in full view of infinity
the kind of fact
factors are apt to fact
when caught factious
in the act and then
we become factors
wrapped in the fractured fact
we’re too rapt to fact
on the finite floor
of empty infinity


speck in the great
spectrum of things?
      That’s no way to
speculate about the
spectacle of life;
      no matter how far and wide
      you get to
      no matter how
spectacular the view,
      the splendid
specter behind it all is
speckled with
specks like me and you,
      what else to ex-
pect from a
spectator sport?

Axes Glasses Pens

            axes glasses pens and knives
the forest floor swallows up
everything dropped on it
            axes glasses pens and knives
nothing but nothing ever survives
the voracious appetite of the loam
except white plastic shopping bags
filled with the wind of empty
shopping center parking lots
but everything else dropped
or mislaid on the forest floor
turns into a dead maple leaf and
slowly sinks into the underworld
of slimy roots and rocks
shadows of the forest foliage solidified
the eternal resting place of
            axes glasses pens and knives
and those who lie down on the ground
not to rest or to look for mislaid gloves
etcetera but just to lie there on the forest
floor expecting nothing more than to
sink deeper and deeper into
the sly slumber of defiant
            axes glasses pens and knives

Paul Sohar ended his higher education with a BA in philosophy and took a day job in a research lab while writing in every genre and publishing seven volumes of translations. His book, Homing Poems, is available from Iniquity Press. Paul's latest book of poems is The Wayward Orchard from Wordrunner Press: His prose work: True Tales of a Fictitious Spy is out from Synergebooks (2006). Magazine credits: Agni, Gargoyle, Kenyon Review, Rattle, Ragazine, Salzburg Poetry Review and Seneca Review. Recent translation credits include a recent book of poems by the renowned Hungarian poet Sándor Kányádi as well as poems by US poets for Hungary's elite literary publication Magyar Naplo. He gives poetry readings throughout the United States and Europe.

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