Christopher Mulrooney, US




Free Verse


new city men


I come to the shills
these hills
who would so like to boff your wife
have so much to offer
why don't you give them all your money
well after all we can't all be funny



general repetition


I rehearse you all in the various repetitive measures
we have all grown used to
not that I'm all that used to it
ah no
sweltering discuses the long tape measures
scarcely interest me
I like refinement a quietly worldling air

what I can buy
isn't all that much
no not really
it's not on the scale of some
large-scale banks and property owners however high the organization reaches
I'm a middling self-expressive mall rat as the saying is
but I can buy the view that's unexampled for example
here's the vista out my bay window
oriel hawthorn fir tree hedges palisade hillsides mountaintop blue and clouds

and then the other voice asks

personally as I ask against all such hope for a whiskbroom out of hand in the office
my blistering hope is for all the most able every man Jack in the whole bunch
to squeeze me out some dues of all that's most paid in all the life that's lived paying
          dues like the library book you've never read and don't dare return
and then we subscribe to a paying order of gents and/or ladies
with a parsimonious aide handing out the printed materials that register this on a dime
a thin dime ready for the slot



key to the city


with a city map an aerial view in your mitts
do not ask for
but make your explorations

Cocky Locky pretending to his throne
the great Applegate meandering
to his'n up the purgatorial coasts
by dusty streets in the way
these things go

stop those callers who come to the thick of the fray
with nothing much to say
here is your reward
a continual heckling never a laugh
a fart nor so much as an order for drinks

I thank you says the speaker
now one to his right
looks to his left and shouts
at another on his left who shouts
back over the speaker
at the top of their voices

here's your Stanley on Urals
question do I presume? or was it
long anyway afterwards
the cup passed to me out of hand?

or the otherwheres that dictate to the poet
how his plainness should be that of water



glazed donut


the glance full of possibility
falls across the stage
here is the lecturer

mesdames et messieurs
will you have done at my
bequest for I give you all
I have nothing left only
your eyes upon me here
and here and here and here
slowly moving across the stage

you have only to look at me
to know me I am the empty purse
the sad sack the fertile ground
left fallow for good reason

how you burn to know me better
though you see right through me
all the time and admire me
for taking the light just so









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