A-Line Veniality

By Hank Cherry

Poem

So strands of my hair fall into
Into a soda pop can in
A room full of people
Distracting themselves with collapse.

One guy nurses apocalypse
On his chest like others
Would a paperback,
Or a choco Danish.

But the bell ringer is the woman
In the floor length gown, and flip flops.
No matter of my concern.
Body to dress, light to tunnel.

Here we are rumbling through
Depreciated minds.
Our teeth bared from boredom,
Wagons before the fire.

And with us, the magnanimous browser
Of rose tattoo sketches
Permanently clawing down to her
Ankles for none to know.

The fluorescent beam above
Exposing too chewed nails
Gathered nervously around tables where
Coffee and donuts long have ruled.

I swish in her cottony stamp
Of inaccessibility while peacock-y men
Strain to achieve temperance
And leave their eyes socket bound.

No one can complain about it.
She wears this dress the way
Good singers curve their tunes.
But to me, reason is an empty stomach.

TAGS: ,

HANK CHERRY, As I live and breath on earth as it is in print, in person, and on webpage! Slake Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, Artillery, Poydras Review, The Hammer Museum, The Louisiana Review, Southwestern American Literature, Juice, Cadillac Cicatrix, Offbeat Magazine, Desire 82, Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Twitter Facebook

20 responses to “A-Line Veniality”

  1. John Moskop says:

    Hank Cherry and the written word. I’m glad they found each other, what a couple.

  2. Becky Lynch says:

    I feel like a smarter and more interesting person after reading one of your works. Love this!

    • Hank cherry says:

      Someday we will all be smarter. I think. Or maybe we’ll be dumber, but think otherwise. Either way is fine by me. Thanks for reading Becky!

  3. liz says:

    A good one, no doubt.

  4. Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

    Body to dress, light to tunnel.

    Well said. Love this one.

    • Hank cherry says:

      This thing just came out over the keyboard, like a splurt. In a dream of denial I sent it in an hour after writing it. A few hours later it was accepted. That will likely never happen again, like a hole in one in golf, just luck of the draw. But I remember being stuck, at one point, and then body to dress light to tunnel came. Essentially a comment on lust, it explains something more than that, a tendency of humans to see symbols in everything, and then get lost in the deconstruction of said symbology, when all it is is simple beauty. Thanks for your comment!

      • Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

        There’s something so unique about poems that arrive this way. Simple beauty. There was such nuance to this poem, it engaged a lot of personal imagery for me, without arousing the inclination to analyze my perceptions against your intentions. It’s pure.

  5. Max says:

    Right-on, Hank. This one is hitting on all cylinders. I’d love to hear you read this.

  6. Shelley says:

    “the way/good singers curve their tunes.”

    That’s a good line.

    • Hank cherry says:

      Yeah, that one felt good. I wasn’t listening to music at the time, but thinking of Aretha and Otis, and James Carr, in relation to the whole gown and flip flop conundrum. Thank you for noticing that line, Shelley!

  7. Gloria says:

    I’m tragically under-skilled in commenting on poetry, but I love the images in this, and also wanted to let you know I read. Also, this is the second time this week that I’ve run into the word magnanimous – last week I woke up with it repeating in my head. Couldn’t shake it.

    • Hank cherry says:

      Gloria, yup, that’s a good an M word as there is. I lucked into this poem, all signs pointed away from it, but it happened anyway…. Thanks for coming by and Saying howdy!

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