Archive for June, 2013


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Brief stretch of free time,
this three-day weekend
wells up inside of me.

I seek to savor each moment,
from Friday’s sunrise to Sunday’s set,
every tick in between,

with you.

I will time to stop,
flow back to the source,
relive Friday’s glorious morning,
over and over and over . . .

I will hold you there
in my heart’s amber,
as I’ll hold myself
accountable for prescience.

The moment and you
blur till one
whole tone sustains.

Freedom’s breath fills me,
circulates inside me,
breaks the skin barrier,
to meld me with the air,

carries me aloft.

I spread-eagle
atop cross-currents,
the backroom of existence,

careful not to tangle
in the delicate webs
that are spun there.

I’m a torn balloon,
floating on tattered frame,
broken spine.

if only for the moment.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

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Thousands of strange lights,
an armada of seers,
protecting the point.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013


Little Antsy

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There’s no one for me who quite matches up,
the moons have ceased to align for a while.

There’s no one who can catch me then keep up,
they wax when I wane, they rock when I roll.

I can guess the card almost every time,
didn’t you just pull that from up your sleeve?

Stone with me, share blankets under moonlight,
tell me the stars are not that far away.

Let’s get off the grid, shoot them all the bird,
witness each full moon on the calendar.

Instead I’m surrounded by non dreamers,
those who are deluded by what is real.

pissing on my clouds, stinking up heaven.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

Ballad For Lorelei

You said you were my friend
Sang that it’s really true
I found out though today
It wasn’t so. Surprise!

I write ballads for you
Now that you’re underground
You’ve become my target
Poetic obsession

Lorelei asks for you
Remembers better days
Still wears bells and flowers
Lives with Hope at the fair

Riding the tilt-a-whirl
Biting candy apples
Sweet red crust sticks to teeth
Tastes like sugar berries

Maybe just one more chance
I realize that’s crazy
It gets harder to find
Than to lose nowadays

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

I am becoming more intrigued with form,
yesterday, jazzy verse just suit me fine.
I’m slow now, I take patience with the line,
take time to build, weather better the storm.
The word deluge that had become my norm,
drowned me, submersed my head in a sound brine,
lacked any meaning, for lack of trying.
My madness now will be more uniform.
I’ve never embraced you in silhouette,
though we once were both bathed in indigo.
Your every movement is a pirouette.
I cling to the rock face, cold vertigo,
like that time I felt on the parapet.
Now I’m ready to leap, if you say so.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013


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Chance, fling, sing, dance,
Prance, wing, sting, romance,
Someday, maybe, anyway,
baby, I’ll say, we’ll see.

Sonnet line-endings I will never use,
Petrarchan, octave and sestet pairing,
so much to gain, ergo plenty to lose,
when poets go astray, lose their bearing.
It’s easy to just settle, stop caring,
take to hypnotics, or just plain old booze,
get caught in sun spots, in solar flaring,
perish in flame before paying the dues.
So I buckle down and get serious,
edit and rewrite, until it’s just right,
like courting a young and elusive Miss,
who smells like lavender, emits sunlight.
Move quickly now, inch in to steal a kiss!
Better yet?  Wait till the cover of night.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013


Yes, Please Pour

I do it again,
peel the gold-foil wrapping
from the neck of another

I extract the cork,
straight-up, briskly,

Out of its element,
the poem first takes
small panting breaths.

I ignore it, pretend to be busy,
a séance with Rimbaud,
perhaps a sonnet of vowels.

It develops nose,
emotes terroir,
softens its tannins.

Does a verse and chorus
of Leonard Cohen’s

I swirl it and snort it and sip it and swish it and spit it
out and taste the lingering . . .

Berry, chocolate, tobacco, and leather,
hints of pollen and honey,
grand cru.

This sort is rarely a standalone varietal,
usually, rather, the base for a blend.

I lick every drop I see running,
with expert plucks of my tongue.

I sense the bottle is bottomless,
sugary, vintage, a great year for sure.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

C”mon bourbon, make me a writer, a rich man;
I grab my castanets, throw my hands overhead, my head’s thrown back, and I sing!

Huxley – or somebody (too bour’boned to look it up) – under nitrous oxide:
higamous, hogamous,
woman’s monogamous,
hogamous, higamous,
man’s polygamous.

or some sort of carp, or crap, like that.

oh-oh! I’m driffin’ – catch my drif’?

have fun with words! I’m ticklin’ “pudding” and “cockswain” as we speak.

take ’em to the zoo, two by two,
size places, pack a lunch,
freeze your soda the night before, if you want to.

I need a marlboro light so bad right now!
You gotta know that I don’t even smoke!

Where did all these fucking exclamation points come from?!

© Chicheme, 2013

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I sometimes glimpse angels in windows,
not really sure
which side of the glass they’re on.

I jerk around quickly, a dart over shoulders,
to catch them behind me,
if they are reflection.

But sometimes they are simply there
on the other side,
sub-imposed under light from now.

Perhaps they’re not angels,
merely glimpses, or phantoms,
similarly spectral and drapery-like.

Though the haunted sometimes too are gilded,
tines are rarely mistaken for hand harps.

Flashes on the periphery,
a little frenzy of the optic nerve,
alerts me they’re there.

The more I stare,
the less I see,
the more I search,
yearn, panic . . .

Oh god, I thought I’d lost you,
or worse yet,
that you’d lost me.

The worst?
That we never whir at all.

In the winter, angels collapse feathers and halos,
lie perfectly still in cold white powder,
to hollow out shapes of snow-people.

Once in a while, it’s everyday things,
butterflies on lilacs, or passing birds,
glanced there in the panes.

And once it was just me,
looking back at the world.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

For Mongo Jerry

It’s dark on the roof of the apartment,
flat, hot tar, I do like that smell, sticky underfoot,
the flutter of pigeons in the coops across,
white light triangles, boat sails there on the Hudson,
cruising steady, big hammocks of linen and hemp,
billow in warm winds, a steady stream of cars,
into Manhattan, uptown and out, along the Westside Highway,
an ice cream truck plays a ditty on Calliope, a jack in the box,
wound up and cranked, plays over again, on the street below,
I gaze out over the edge, watch the children run,
money from moms gripped tight in hand, for the treasure,
Tuesday night, somewhere in time, earth, Alphabet City,
a hundred degrees and rising.

Met game on in a room below, announcer shouting in Spanish,
sounds like a walk-off homer; old vinyl of Eddie Palmieri,
live from the University of Puerto Rico, spills into the alley,
sounds like a party, a lot of people, bottle caps hissing off carbonated drinks,
laughter, men and women raising voices in good times, late on a work night,
you can bet that five o’clock in the morning rolls around pretty quick,
when you’re still on the buzz after midnight.

Weatherman’s map is all orange and red, nothing but heat in the forecast,
hazy, wavy lines, of toasty, sweaty, smelly hot,
an occasional enduring, endearing, cool breeze
blows east and west from the island’s rivers,
invisible knotted wind-streams interlaced, blowing at the southern tip,
shreds kites to pieces that fly too close to the urban sirocco.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

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