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3 poems available only on Reader’s Connection

July 31, 2014 by Reader's Connection

Goddesses in Art

These poems don’t appear in any book. “My poems are in the public domain,” says Charlie Differ. “They live in a park.”

If you’re interested in checking out a book, though, and I hope you are, Odanka Levonette tells me that Lanier Graham’s Goddesses in Art is the book she mentions in her poem. The Water and the Moon Kwan Yin is on the cover.

My thanks to Ralph, Odanka and Charlie.


By Any Means
by Ralph Petropollo

By all means tell your doctor
that you tried to go swimming,
tried to go all cardiovascular,
but missed seeing the string of plastic pennants
missing from the pool’s south end.

Finishing your last & first backstroke lap,
your eyes ever up in the fluorescent canal,
no bluewhitebluewhitebluewhite tut-tutting slow down,
you whacked your head.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaNot a word of concern
from the Gwen Stefani-engorged lifeguard.
By all means tell your doctor that.

Tell him how you cursed your way up the stairs.
How you sulked and shampooed
while a few stalls down
a Chinese guy talked on his conferencing phone
and you heard a woman answer.

Christ Almighty, a phone in the shower.

But you need to tell your doctor, too,
that whatever the guy said next was funny
and the woman’s laughter poured into your stall
through the Chinese guy’s falling water and yours.


Compassion Goddess
by Odanka Levonette

Cold air above the Rockies, just the place
to meet The Water and the Moon Kwan Yin.
The flight attendant wants to make a face:
This book of goddesses I’m buried in.

From Andy Warhol’s re-do’s back through dawn
they scare you, or console, or point the way.
Kwan Yin is eight feet tall, ten centuries on.
Her faded paints find eye-homes every day.


I missed my flight.


I’m stuck in LAX.


That woman at the counter made a joke.


Kwan Yin can be a male who changes sex.


I need to morph, myself, or have a stroke.

We travel separately, and faces change.
Each flight’s compassion cargo strikes me strange.


Through the Seasons with Dog Crap
by Charlie Differ

You would think the steam
rising from crap-gnomes in the cool early spring
would help me find them.
On occasion it does.

In summer there are instant flies
to guide my plastic pickup bag.
The dog has barely finished her business
when pilgrims from the ether
surround the crap and chant.
God bless the gnomes, they try to lay low.

Autumn is their happy season.
Black and brown soggy leaves
make a sighting impossible.
I slip, sometimes fall,
and I know they’re amused.

“When winter comes,” I yell,
“and snow fills the schoolyard,
you’ll be as easy to find
as the spots on dice.”

There is always a gnome who can’t resist.
“Oh, foolish mammal-born,”
he always sounds like a kid on helium,
“your quite hilarious arthritis
has climbed to your skull.
You forget the words
of the wise Herakleitos:
Nobody picks up the same crap twice.”
And then when they all shake with laughter
I grab them.


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