At the window I
for any sign of
a storm with tractor-sized
hail to plow fields
of roofs. And lightning
that spills a silverware tray
over the county. Sun
wobbles in, wind yawns,
and I go back to my book,
drop into a deep well
call and call.
our screen door,
we watch the poem walk
down Barren Road
but it thinks itself ugly.
Maybe in a store window's
reflection, the poem
sees no beautiful word
skin but a graveyard's
like those found Haworth
by the Bronte house.
The poem isn't
like a bodybuilder;
but strong like a single
feather that can stop
wind. Or make wind
think that it has stopped.
Fork, Spoon and Knife
Weary, bleak and deconstructed,
he fears he's become a flat tire,
but he stands before his eight o'
clock class, and lectures on some dead
poems he once loved but hasn't read
in years, wishes he could retire
but he's got twenty years to go,
his belly of ashes, not fire,
there's only so much literature
can do, he thinks, while preaching how
several texts have saved his life,
but he turned them into tenure
and spends most evenings alone now,
talking to his fork, spoon and knife.
I stand under a bald lamp
waiting for an aspirin
moon to sink into
midnight's glass. Wind curls
up underwear, flings
my robe's sash over asters
in an autumn garden
covered by the vast umbrella
of a yellow dream,
we whistle as a train
rumbles out of
We breathe in
their brevity. Some
get only one day,
a single hour
with the sun just right,
as a skull.
Others last longer:
the dahlia pitching
red on the sky,
They must go,
fall where no eye
Knees wet, I pull
winter's corpse off cold
leavesa goofy Goliath,
I almost crush a daffodil shoot,
uncover a busy columbine
near purple sun-grabby crocuses.
The Mirandy rose sprouts
on many canes. Sweatpants
soaked, I lean over
four grape hyacinths
toss blue on overcast sky.
so much fight
Kenneth Pobo's Crazy Cakes (Chapbook)
In the Iraq War,
in living rooms
across "the greatest country
in the world,"
ways to soften
Network War Coverage
When news personalities show up
at the bank to cash their paychecks,
tellers say, "Would you like that in blood
or bone?" Indignant as unfed venus flytraps,
they say, "We'd like it in American money."
"We have no money, not for you,
we're very sorry."
Cameras off, they march out of the banks
weepingnews personalities can't be
caught crying. Viewers want tough anchors.
After a good night's rest, they stop
at the bank on the way to the studio.
"Blood," one tells the teller.
"Bone," says another.
They load their trunks with their earnings,
think about how to ask the boss
for a raise.
U.S. Government Response to Katrina
Wow, what great news! You mean
a bunch of poor blacks
drowned and lost their homes? How many?
Fewer votes against us to worry about.
But what to do about the homeless
survivors? The Astrodome!
They're poor anyway
and like being together.
Most enjoy sports. They'll be fine.
I wish more storms would hitif only
we could tilt them toward all cities,
wipe out the unchristians, minorities,
a buttload of Democrats. Let's pray.
Dear Jesus, please destroy our enemies.
Send bigger storms. We ask this
in your holy name, amen.
Pobo is a master at writing the essential poem—every word
counts. With a Keatsian sensibility, he draws our attention to the natural
world, its rich diversity, the human condition, and how the nineteenth
century’s industrial paradigm has produced the worst global threats,
the politics of greed and violence, of our times. As a poet, educator,
gardener and social critic, Pobo’s sympathy for the victims of corporate
exploitation are the materials of his poetic conscience. Imaginative,
humorous, witty, ironic—Pobo uses his magic to wake the soul and stun the
heart. Without being judgmental, academic or didactic, he reminds us of
what we all sadly lost to some alarm: Our humanity. It’s always a
pleasure to read and reread Ken Pobo’s work!
The above poems were selected from
Kenneth Pobo's new book, Glass Garden (Word Press;
To order Crazy Cakes:
http://www.scars.tv click Chapbooks.
About Kenneth Pobo:
Pobo teaches Creative Writing and English at Widener University in
Pennsylvania. His book Introductions (Pearl's Book'Em Press)
was published in 2003. Ordering: A Season in My Garden was
published by Higganum Hill Books;2001. His poems have appeared in
Chiron Review, Rattle, Roanoke Review, Centrifugal Eye, Hawaii Pacific
Review, Poets Against the War (Anthology), and many more print and
online journals. He is a
regular contributor to ForPoetry.com.
here to read more of Kenneth Pobo's poems at ForPoetry.com