Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Poetry by Maurice Oliver

Categorical Imperatives

Try to imagine a small room where the only
furniture is a TV. The TV has a hundred
channels and two sets of memories. The room
suffers from amnesia and has a leaky ceiling.
There’s a bowl of fruit on the TV and the room’s
floor once was the life of an oak tree. Neither
the TV nor the room has ever had a headache
or felt contempt for a total stranger. But, the TV
does wear glasses and the room is terrified of
the dark. The TV wonders what it would be like
to have a dent in the bridge of its nose and the
room longs to know what a clock sounds like
when it ticks. Personally, I try not to wonder
about much of anything other than how robust
this exercise in the use of your imagination
has been. I’ve provided a space below where
you can leave comments. While you scribble
yours, I’ll go stand at the window and watch
the Pepsi truck pull up to the asylum so a bottle
opener can fill the vending machine.

- Maurice Oliver 2008

Progress, Disguised As A Centipedes

And when the dust finally settles, here’s what’s left:

-A row of concrete dividers on a receding hairline.

-Every wood-framed church in the Bible Belt.

-Trains that are only used to scare away ghosts.

-A building that was originally scheduled for demolition.

-Thickly spread peanut butter wedged between two silos.

-A coat rack made from barrels of Agent Orange.

-One lamppost that longs to be a lighthouse.

-A pair of spectacles that desperately need polishing.

- Maurice Oliver 2008

Maurice Oliver first discovered his desire to write poetry while on an eight month trip around the world in '95. It took another eight years to gather the courage he needed to share them with anyone other than close friends. After what seemed like tons of rejections one poem was published. To date, his work has appeared in numerous literary reviews, journals and magazines in seven different countries. His latest chapbook is titled "One Remedy Is Travel" and was published last year at Origami Condom. A year ago he created his own literary ezine which can be found online at: www.concelebratory.blogspot.com

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