My Mother's Paintings
Across dust-hidden caricatures
of life and lust and earth
My mother's fingers glide,
Searching, in this coffin-house, for that tube of memory,
And paint and brushes and time...
To weave again about fabric-canvas,
dive beneath world-waves
and swim and swim and swim in
current-thoughts, in child-thoughts,
Finding off-cut places, hidden
In her plum-sacked skin-splotches,
pinpoints of artist-hope...
She yearns for
A patted-back-good-job, outside
of lie-smiles and fear-thinking
that time has run out of hand,
Down and through the cellar door,
beyond paint, beyond brush,
Beyond her near-life...
But among black-dots-Dylan and pianos,
Pink-dress-lady and pumpkin-vined-mailbox
Her seeking should cease, her fretting ended for
Art thought not-art lies unlocked
In swirling strokes of vibrant oils...
In every curl-line and straight-shape
Her breaths are molded in collage,
Her laugh stenciled into frame,
Her eyes in every hue...
I am in ever-awe
Of the portrait she cannot see
Amber-lighted window sill
I must confess to you my dear window sill,
The bed remains unkempt, the floor a-mess.
I haven't page-flipped or tub-scrubbed
but been altogether pleased in watching through your eyes
The neighbor-child squiggling his chalk across the walk, hop-plopping
back-and-forth and forth-and-back, in tiny numbered squares- yellow, purple, pink-
And Perry, scruffy-faced-Viet-vet-bum, spelunk for change in the milk man's trash can -
A mirror-ugly-image of myself...
If only they were confidants...
But I must confess to you my dear
I am straight-jacket-loony, alone
sitting clothed in skin, a pale-white clown-paste,
At your edge, rested-weight pressed down against the chair -
you my only audience-
Staring into solicit-sheets and monies of men, of men, of men,
With frowns cut red across my cheeks
Abashedly ashamed at change-throwing my wishes into shoes,
Shoes that hop-clop and flip-flop down the walk in the lighted-moon
And spelunk for change in the blue-white-dash-light of cars of men.
Physicist Thought of Sea
Leather-cracked hands of atom, an isotope son,
Modern high-rise privateer, speckle-nosed sailor
I see you, father, mad-max-swashbuckler holding
Compass, storm-gale whipping ropes, sea-mist clinging to
Your face. You scream starboard, spinning wheel through Poseidon
Hurricane-wave, crest pulling trough, blanketing-sea
Surging on deck-men, scurrying tight-rope pirates.
And crashing it comes, it comes, it comes upon you
Spirit-break, deafening roar of simple molecules-
Bond-break of battered hope-dreams washed away in salt,
Shipwrecked on concrete-shores of day-same in and out,
Clocked-time of hole-punched paper, dreamed vessel-decked planks,
That find you penciling pirated battle ships
Upon them: white seas of flat-mapped navigation-
An end-never exploration of reverie.
I see you, father, nuclear-mad, glaring hair
Fell-out, surrounded in uranium-static,
Eyes eying open-water-sea, a gulled-open sky,
Only in desk-pictures of other men's ventures-
Ogygia beckoning, leave your bonds behind...
You, old Blackbeard, hidden in yellowed coveralls.
Jonathan Moore is a Senior at Georgia Southern University majoring in Writing and Linguistics, with a Creative Writing emphasis. He is also a member of the GSU Creative Writing Club. Jonathon loves music and writing and hearing a good story every now and then. He admires the work of Pablo Neruda, Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Carlos Williams, Chuck Palahniuk, Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, and writing by writing department faculty and students of Georgia Southern.