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RICH IVES

 

 

 

 

 

rich ivesRich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Dublin Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily, and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. In 2011, he received a nomination for The Best of the Web and two nominations for both the Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net. He is the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. His book of days, Tunneling to the Moon, is currently being serialized with a work per day appearing for all of 2013 at http://silencedpress.com


 

______

 

The Invention of Jazz

Where Is the Mountain That Stays the Drifting Clouds?

 

______

 

 

The Invention of Jazz

 

slapped down between

bars without a signature

sometimes you have to leave

to hear it clearly

like the liberated trees that grew

stubbornly back

and celebrated

how much of the sky we heard

 

 

a woman built

a tree stump

like three children bathing

in a refrigerator

a couple of boxcars of

a sentiment derailed

time for my life

to change its trousers

 

 

she give me cake

smell like sadness

and Baby so happy

she cry diamonds

she sing softly

paradise is what's left

when people

you love gone

 

 

when a tornado

stands still it is a tornado

all the ancestors in your bones

dictating bones

in the endless kitchen of

your body

you and then you again

in the daddy pocket

 

 

the neighbor's husband returns

with a stringer of beer

bait he says

and hooks one over his elbow

where it dances before his mouth

like a fat dripping spoon

her stark handsome head

tucked into his shoulder a dove

 

 

the notorious tuba player

Romeo the Turnip

moved as if he expected too

any moment a fire maybe

break out in him pants how old is he

today how many lifetimes

a second he wasn't

the story he wanted into

 

 

dirt road dry as prohibition

snaked back into woods

kept right on saying

no you can't come in

and letting you come in

with  more than went out

we never married but my cat stayed

I'm the rest of my life

 

 

 

 

 

______

 

 

 

Where Is the Mountain That Stays the Drifting Clouds?

 

 

The onion’s dry body curls inward, crumpled

around itself like paper, its whole being begging

 

moisture. The slower posture of the pepper

waits, more inclined to melt than dry up.

 

What is a hungry soul to do? Ask the garlic cloves

sleeping in their little packages of breath?

 

Or the horseradish, nostrils flaring, crisp red tongue

fatly galloping over its steamy little gourd?

 

What a generous theft life is. The olive understands,

poison till treated with care and exacting patience.

 

What else have we forgotten, feeding on excess?

After the belated meal of shrinking wonders,

 

an odor, outside, of honeysuckle and wet leaves.

The dogs bark hungrily. I wonder what’s eating them.

 

 

 

 

 

©2013 Rich Ives

 

 

 

Author Links

 

Two poems in Fwriction : Review

Interview with Connotation Press

'Some Good Advice': a poem at Killauthor.com

 

 

 

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