This poem is dedicated to haiku master and good friend Ron Evans, who sponsored the title for the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project fundraiser I participated in during August. I firmly believe it is the worst title in the history of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project! Ron is moving to Indiana, where he will, alas, no longer be able to find kolaches, breakfast tacos or Texas barbecue. I will of course send him lavishly photographed and detailed reviews of my adventures with these foods. Take care, Ron. We will miss you.
Calvin Coolidge — Live or Memorex?
They say the wind in Alvarado bypasses closed doors, slips through
book-laden walls and plate glass and into your dreams where it circles
and accumulates, whirling, whirling, steadily gaining force, gathering
loose pages and errant thoughts and memories too combustible to
burn, ignoring time’s compression and the gravity of dying suns, forever
counting, talking, thinking, looking up and out between the long nights.
unable to sleep he opens a window daring the wind
The 30th President of the United States breathes and writes at the junction
of an invisible house and a wheat field in Alvarado, in the guise of a
74-year old haiku poet. No longer the solemn ass, Cal laughs and speaks
and observes his two birthdays, recalling Harding’s scandals and Dorothy
Parker’s “How can they tell?” with equal relish. Sometimes he dresses
in tails and top hat, and speaks in 17-syllable phrases. Sometimes.
spitting out sake in the shadow’s glare death forestalled
Alvarado’s laureate is leaving it all behind – the presidency, the books,
the kolaches – catching the next breeze out of town, a silver-tongued
dust devil riding the word, spewing puns all the way to Indiana. But
buried in a waterproof box near Oswald’s grave, 314 cassette tapes
capable of shattering crystal carry his voice further than their unwound
lengths, whirring incessantly, celebrating life, praising the long wind.
standing in the sun wisdom blows by no questions today