Poetry from Duane Vorhees

The calligrapher writes the landscape.    

The rain's crow quill points ink across pigeongray parchment sky and draft indelibly themselves upon an eager gravid ground   

and sins and memories, and hopes and charities, that take root, grafted into the earth, remain ensoiled past the droughts and floods to come.  



Wanting the beads and choirs too, 

she took the veil and cincture. 

But inside the now 

she regrets the vow 

since accepting the saddle  

means all the bits and spurs too.



Which among you will bring sandwiches? 

And who'll organize the selfies? 

Which manifesto would you execute? 

"The sky must be purged if the earth is to prevail!" 

"The earth must be buried for Heaven to reveal!" 

Which Utopia would you provoke? 

Which of the pasts should be banned? 

But don’t be the freak hot on the runway 

or the gangster in church, 

don't be the priest caught in the whore house
the banker in the line-up.



Crucifiction, Failosophy, Hisstory:   

Tomorrow is a myth. And so is yesterday. Now is all. 

Physicks, Asstrology, Isometricks:  

Yourself, as you are at present, is your only guide.  

Medisin, Accupunkture, Sighchiatry:  

There is no cure for reality.  

Litterature, Statuwary, Musick:  

Art is a grand mirage -- and it takes great pride in being so.  

Soshellism, Dicktatorship, Demockracy:   

All government systems are synonyms for slavery.  

Kingdumbs, Militearism, Onerousship:  

Allegiance to others is suicide.  

Noosepapers, Liebrarie. Educashuns:  

"Knowledge" so-called is mere pretense.  

Relashunships, Guarantease, Freedumb:  

Promises are illusions. But illusions may also be promises.
Ambishun, Suckcess, Sellebrity:   

Self-promotion is the greatest deception of all.  


Truth is what you trust.



I wait here still for the wise old man   

and his chatter of universal traits,   

how they shape my acts like hands   

on a potter's wheel (but hereditary, innate).   


"Archetypes are to psychology   

as instincts to biology."   


I sit in his psyche, peeling my mandarins,   

and wonder, is this a proper asana?   

Some tables down someone plays a green mandolin   

and my self stifles respondent hosannas.   


My me was always confused by the we,   

and I was never the one I used to be.   


I used to take my tea with cream   

but now I prefer lemon.   

Why do I have all these dreams   

about so many different women?   


Decades have passed like clouds over seas   

as I searched for any available lee.   


The minutes pass like birds in flight   

and my shadow cowers in shadows   

I interpret as monstrous daytime nights.   

Mandolinist fingers dissolve into adders.   

Duane Vorhees is an American in Thailand. Hog Press of Ames IA has published three of his poetry collections, HEAVEN, GIFT: GOR RUNS THROUGH ALL THESE ROOMS, and THE MANY LOVES OF DUANE VORHEES.

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