Poetry » Crystal Lake, IL Theater
Below are poems, cataloged by month, written by Raue Center’s Poets-in-Residence:
Current Poet-in-Residence: Egan Click
Past Poets-in-Residence: P.C. Denofrio
Raue Poet: P.C. Denofrio
(A Temporary Resident)
Laying crusty like a hermit
I feel bad because all the long days lead next to sermons
Sharing a bed with a vermin
I wish I could still say I was learning
What’s the purpose?
Feel out of place slithering around like a serpent
Ask for forgiveness it’s a nuisance
I’m new to this, a well lit service
A bump in the road a bowing servant
Groveling I’m on the wheel a dads appeal
A never ending answer suped up cancer
A man can only be a dichotomy oceans favor iconically Omni opus fault line hocus pocus alt lines fluctuate hate fills a milk shake
Where’s my rock when I hit bottom?
I see the flock but I don’t hear the calling
Night falls see the garbage evenly lit summers smells like sausage
Around the edge help the shadows
Bend the loose ends see the helpers
Conserve the support beams the team is family the thought is amicable bramble full of shambles ideas full of samples
Bump to the noggin asking for my pendant back I’m a stripped Cadillac call me what you want lather me in ash and paint me black
Racks and stacks of books overlook the shore the sea shell hollers back don’t yell so I sit and stir and find my vision blurry till I lay cross eyes deserted
Oops still anxious sick to my stomach flopping till I’m nervous
Socks got holes eye sockets got full
Dull pull until the alarm clocks throw
(The Glaciers Peak)
The glaciers peak looks far away. The eyes need to squint to see its outline.
The canyon rumbles, the snow deluge, melting empirically down to new found springs. Scent arise, evergreens and forever dreams, the steam shapes up
And pours over the cold revealing trimmed greens and thorny branches
Holding on to its lover wishing the mountain would tumble.
My heads like a cabbage shredded coleslaw with the synapses
Flaring up, I’m fair enough, immediate mediator, balanced.
Prince of the estate the check lines the sound wilderness divides the round
Solemnly square, hair for days, passionate watch the skin sweat immaculate
A bag of tricks, wave at cute chicks a chic magnet, guilty philanderer
Unhand me sir common course an ominous retort I sip scandalous at the resort
The shade braves over talking to shadows seeing tattoos on family roots
Inked over bled through the will signed on the dotted line
Signed my name too many times
Go by the name curly head grind my teeth thinking charlottes web
Whose I bed no queen just some crumbs a dinner table a matted dream
Don’t lock the lock I don’t carry my keys see the window
A new pain
An opening into the humble
I see all the wasted time stacked in that same line
I wished upon a star
Something that was so far gone
So far away can’t retrace the stacks of creased paper
Perforated edges for the sacred I’m left on
The happiness is a reprieve the excitement ends as energy
Boils away from me as steam
I say bye to my self esteem
Cellular malfunction, collection of erosion hidden, black, nothing into something
Spread, outreach, the lumps into coal, the breaking of structure, molecular deficiency
The decency of splitting on no words, agreement to swap skeletons
Dire direction, messiness in the making, together as one, multiply feel numb
Saw the weight lose, pleasures turn into daily victories, the fight isn’t UP to me
Failing structures, bones hanging loose, hinged together by years of muscle memory
Weak by the end, weeks, maybe only a few, coughs make switches turn off.
The air fills the lungs, slowly. The carbon relies on the deepest parts. Brain eating away.
It’s all measures in subspace, the tiniest of increments, the total to a life.
Radiation kept growth still for a moment. Movement lifted spirits. Living next to a loss.
All come as one, tears shared filled an oasis, treatment plans like Mirages.
We hope to see what we want. What we want doesn’t exist. All that lives.
The things that hold you in, your allies, turn. The fight for survival.
The flight to make all those years lean into commonality. The boys and girl thinking the same.
The arrow of time leads us to only one point.
(Life to Cuban Fantasy)
I went out, before work,
tired, & bought a pouch of Amsterdam
Shag & papers—
because I’m tired
& wanted to taste something real.
I rolled 10 to smoke
over the day, but lit 4
on the drive to work—
uneven (like everything else
in life). I light them
with a match book I got
from going to the Green Mill
with a blonde who’d never
been— we got drunk sitting
in Capone’s booth.
& these cigarettes burn
like a Cal Tjader tune—
full of lulling rings
& harsh quiets
in a rhythm you can dance to—
if you’ve got an imagination.
(Café Tables & Love Letters)
There are times, I think, I desire
to feel your body’s an excuse
to convince myself that
the table, wide as the ocean is,
bars me from sailing my fingertips
to yours, like the topless towers. Helen’s
skin’s not so perfect as yours, because
your imperfections my hands’ve memorized
like a topographical map & its
signified surveyor. Let me chart you
again— my god, I want to smooth the down
of your arms; I want to read your eyes
like the books they must, with their stories
innumerable— think of the love they’ve found.
(McHenry County, Illinois)
I went to Harvard, IL
& realized it was everything I wanted
in a little town I’d drive around to—
(sub)urban paradise with art, beauty,
stupid simple rustic beauty
a dearth of learning, vacuous
cow-worshipping town. Plaster-calf
as their god of their own destitution;
ivy-wrapped & suffocated beauty
‘80s pop billowing from hidden speakers
& I think about your sister’s wedding
& getting drunk to the point of you
buying me a hotel room
a block from where I walked today—
& I felt sick wanting a beer
that looked so nice painted in a shop window
but I was broke; so I drove ‘round
a glorious cathedral to some suburban god
of two-buck taquerias & video slots—
all peaceful & silent in an alley
where some worker’s smoking on a milkcrate.
(Ode to the Remembrance of Springs Long Past)
If her skin were not
the soft down of a rose petal,
should I ever not want to caress
her folds? To find the scented dew
perfumed to the resplendent hue of her cheeks
pressed upon her lips, as children
hide their faces in bushes of lilacs?
What of bee-stings? Or the smell of earth
radiating like the swift-scent of lavender
from her flesh? Should I ever not want
to find my mouth sealed shut with brimming
emotion, if I could not feel the pain of
her absence? That my life’s forfeit’s the muse
if lacking the Bumblebee’s charming ruse.