I’m very happy to announce that three of my poems have been published in the new literary journal, Futures Trading! The poems are DU, The Labor of Our Futures, and You Shall Not Kill Yourself, Suicide Bomber. DU is about depleted uranium and the Iraq war. If you don’t know about depleted uranium, then please look it up as it is changing our future. The Labor of Our Futures comes from a personal experience. The first line of the poem “War will be good for our economy” is something that was said to me by an old man who I use to talk with when I worked in a flea market many years back. He was a nice person overall, and I don’t think he realized what an impact that statement would have on me. You Shall Not Kill Yourself, Suicide Bomber explains itself.
This is the best journal I’ve been published in because the editor of it happens to be one of my favorite poets, Caleb Puckett! If you have been following my blog for a while, you will have read some of his poetry which I have featured twice already. In case you haven’t, I’ll be reblogging a collection of his poems in the coming week or two. The Labor of Our Futures is my best effort so far at imitating his writing style.
Puckett is an amazing poet that is well worth reading. His work is very rhythmic in quality and beautiful and distinctive in the images that his words evoke. There is something very unique about his poetry too that I can’t describe exactly. His newer work differs slightly in style from his earlier work, but I find his newer work to be even more profound and deeper in meaning like one of my favorites Girl from Earlsboro. His work is intense, relevant and essential; this is a poet who really has something important to say. It is not just about the construction of words but how the words are a construction of our human experience, and even perhaps a construction on the level of the soul. His work makes me say “Wow! That spoke to me.” Later, “I wish I could write like that!”
Here is a very short sampling of some of my favorite of his poems.
By Caleb Puckett
Elegies entangle the arc of a hard whistle
echoing along the dirty halls of this dimly lit terminal,
and our eyes are annihilated by blood,
teeth crushed by the vinyl lining the length of the hall,
as we waver in and out of chaotic queue,
filing past grubby double doors and smudged windows,
uncertain if this is our departure or arrival,
worried if this is the life we are finally due to revise,
unsure of personal silence within the group,
troubled by the sharp plastic lettering that lies and refuses.
So we congest the exits, crowd the benches, waiting for connections,
estranged within as night translates the scrape
of every splintered shoe and the exhaust fumes of every idling engine
into hands on a claustrophobic clock face
that gnaws apart each aching nerve during the long journey forward
into a pale helter-skelter horizon full of alleys
and avenues where dreams are brought to bare—how we huddle here
in the fugue of some broken city square
where salvation’s vagabond army stammers between penury and prayer.
We dwell on the roasted meat of snakes. We dwell on cyanide like oxygen. We are desperate for Passover, dear Lord. These are the earliest days of the end of the world. The crucial steps from building financial weaponry to the total collapse of the Gulf Coast are impending. As the Mayan calendar predicted, the bomb shelter business is now booming in Texas. Consider the cold, hard details of this fool’s errand to block the exits when the Tectonic plates go awry and shift into darkest space. The surface of earth is a conduit of energy.
For whatever reason, the erratic cult of paranoia can construct a system of preparedness. Surviving a nuclear attack would be incredible, but the actors and news architects have their perverted plans. They are lobbing bad news to brainwashed dummies and contracts to intransient Iranian mechanics from New York to Utah. They are hell-bent on engineering high-end space stations for the elite. Demonic sun bursts spew from their alien mouths, bringing tribulation to all the dummies who will bury themselves like moles in their septic underground sanctuaries. Hell is a lower elevation. Luck is dead. We are hiring, says the savvy killer to the cleric, thriving on the popular American mindset. The wisdom is reptilian: their business will outlast your activity. Dig, dummies, dig.
By Caleb Puckett
No rest with the precarious nerve of night
through which the fine vibrations of loss pulse
in low frequency, diffuse electric directives culled
among broken manzanita branches, the refusals and refuse
of slight lifetimes spent amidst insensible constellations
in cinder block neighborhoods full of twisted white blankets,
vanishing points, vacancies, spaces where hands drop off of brows
and rise again to dimly comb through the indolent black currents
where humid night hides itself in the narcosis of the heart’s host
in a scarred old town near a river that still whittles away
the sandstone mantle of a salvation that some claim
crystallized under great pressure before we came
By Caleb Puckett
Flag rant war rant.
WEIGHT OF EXPERIENCE
By Caleb Puckett
Met age met a fiction.