Friday, September 9, 2011

signals, pt. 4

It Rained Last Night

Half a Wing

Route 61


37 Cent Lettuce

Ohio Cloud Mountain

For Tom


No More To Make

Ohio Buddha



Cicada Taxi

It Rained Last Night

It was raining in my dream.

There are rivers running to

lakes that need to be filled,

keeping plants and everything green.

Even the dreamworld depends on rain.

Driving a shape-shifting car that glides

and slides on the wet road,

I remember to stop for people

and let them share a ride.

Half a Wing

I found half a cicada wing

in the wet grass, it’s delicate,

finely made as stained glass,

taken off maybe to wash in the dew

before I came along and took it home

to show you.

Route 61

From a distance they look like crows,

then something’s not right, they’re too big.

As the road passes the farmhouse, I can tell.

Three vultures are perched on their roof.

One of them shuffles next to the chimney

like a bent old man in a hot overcoat.


Michael sits

on the bench

outside Drug Mart


for a friend.

It’s a small town

people cross

the hot tar

some of them

he knows.

37 Cent Lettuce

A few leafs


just enough

for a sandwich

wilted soft

and green as

a summer dress

Ohio Cloud Mountain

Going East

the lake on the left

in all that flat

Cuyahoga Valley

the sky needs

something to build

a mountain

made of clouds

For Tom

Tom said

he doesn’t write

poetry anymore

it’s a faucet

that was shut off.

Even so

once in a while

a silver drop

will form

and fall


The sun goes down

the windmill is still

the flowers sleep

tilted at the moon

No More To Make

The factory sleeps

rust and mill dust

form new ground

Ohio Buddha

In a garden

with hibiscus

Rose of Sharon

and birds

under the tree

eyes closed

with snails

upon his head


Surprised by a rabbit

in the backyard

eating seeds

under the birdfeeder.

Calm as a pond

it moves on

to the garden

tasting the sweet

fallen pink flowers.

When the sprinkler

starts it slips

into the green

suitcase of leaves

and is gone.


Three bicycles in the garage,

one of them has a flat tire.

I’ll take the bike that doesn’t,

ride it to the gas station

to see if they have an air pump.

It isn’t far, under the cover of trees,

then across the road and along the cracked

sidewalk. There’s a lot of ironweed

growing beside the road, it fills the field.

Because of the name, I can’t help thinking

those tall green stalks could be cut and

bound to make railroad tracks.

When I get there, past the gas pumps,

on the corner where the road turns in,

attached to a lamppost is the air compressor.

A metal box with a hose. It’s free though,

just press a button and air comes right out.

I ride back to the house, switch bicycles

and push the one with the flat tire

all the way to the gas station again.

Past the field, chicory and ironweed

with purple flower smokestacks,

I feel a drop of rain.

From the way the clouds are

building and bruising together

it looks like one of those Great Lake

downpours will be happening soon.

Here’s a detail I didn’t notice

until the return trip. The big sign

with the gas price on the road

says they also sell worms.

What if I went into the store

to ask about that?

It’s probably an interesting story.

Are they grown locally?

How are they kept alive?

I guess that’s what separates

this story from the Pulitzer Prize…

I’m only here for the air.

Cicada Taxi

Off the tar

it clatters

wings rattling

Signals photo, drawings, writing:

allen frost in August 2011, Ohio

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