Kurt Lipschutz: Four Poems

Kurt Lipschutz (klipschutz) has been recognized by writers as diverse as Sharon Doubiago, Barry Hannah, Bill Knott, Antler, Robert Sward, and Carl Rakosi. Born in Indio, CA, he left high school early to travel the U.S. by thumb, and between 1976 and 1979 lived in Laurel Canyon, Echo Park, and Hollywood. After a brief stint at Naropa, he moved to San Francisco, took Gallup polls door-to-door, and put down roots. This week’s poems are excerpted from A Visit to the Ranch. Earlier books include This Drawn & Quartered Moon, Twilight of the Male Ego, and The Erection of Scaffolding for the Re-Painting of Heaven by the Lowest Bidder. He songwrites with Chuck Prophet, and with Jeremy Gaulke edits Four by Two.

A VISIT TO THE RANCH & Other Poems, by klipschutz. Last Word Press, Oct. 2015, 52 pages. Handmade in Olympia, WA. lastwordpress@gmail.com

*****

Dear Diary

the light changed
the season changed
the century

lilies outlasted
churches

deciphered rhymes
on the backs of bank statements
toppled regimes

an amulet adorned
a most unmatronly ankle

the rose changed its name
and smelled sweeter

my eye healed

a man married a bridge
and they had many rivers

***

Triolet for a New American Century

The Dog & the Truck own the Freeway at Night,
Switching Lanes back & forth by the Moon,
An occasional Bug on four Wheels left or right.
The Dog & the Truck own the Freeway at Night,
Past Frontage Road, Billboard & Nothing. In spite
Of a Sky like a Dartboard Cartoon,
The Dove mourns in French & the Hawk rules the Night.
A Cash Cow jumps over the Moon.

***

Monstrosity in the Sand
at Ocean Beach

Huge, circular, black
with a slight sheen.
Yay high, this wide across,
radius, diameter, the works,
with a wedding cake-sized hole.
Hard to the touch, with
raised and lowered areas.
Indecipherable designs,
mostly washed away.
But I am a civilized man
(just ask my ex-wives)
and you can google
round stuff on the beach,
and past that wall of earth
is the Great Highway:
a tire from an eighteen wheeler semi.
Still, for the first first few seconds,
the child in me refused to budge,
and something inside me with fur
insists yet that this monster
once crawled along the bottom of the sea,
or fell and fell and fell
through the heavens.

***

Dusk Thoughts on a Barely Moving Train

Life doesn’t give
A sunset or a fig
For its opposite

Number, assuming
Nothing and in lieu
Of flowered words.

The part about
Forever loses patience,
Gains a son,

And ones and zeros
Are constructions,
With cheap labor,

Of the mind,
Which is wedded
To that hunk of spunk,

The body. O divorce—
You hot pink ticket
Twice removed!

Burning heart-holes
In the coloring book
Of love! Drowning sorrow

In fact (my heart wavers)
In rumor (it sparks)
In echo (repines

Unto Harvest, Hearth & Plunder,
My attorneys, my Armada,
My lost and found doubloon).

A young girl studies
The horizon like a schoolbook.
For homework, the moon.

(originally published in Ambit, U.K.)

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