Henri Cole Poems
|5.||Gravity and Center||6/16/2016|
|7.||Myself with Cats||6/16/2016|
|10.||Saint Stephen's Day with the Griffins||6/16/2016|
|11.||Self-portrait in a Gold Kimono||6/16/2016|
|15.||Cherry Blossom Storm||6/16/2016|
|18.||Hand Grenade Bag||6/16/2016|
|20.||Oil & Steel||6/16/2016|
Oil & Steel
My father lived in a dirty dish mausoleum,
watching a portable black-and-white television,
reading the Encyclopedia Britannica,
which he preferred to Modern Fiction.
One by one, his schnauzers died of liver disease,
except the one that guarded his corpse
found holding a tumbler of Bushmills.
"Dead is dead,' he would say, an anti-preacher.
I took a plaid shirt from the bedroom closet
and some motor oil—my inheritance.
Once, I saw him weep in a courtroom—
neglected, needing nursing—this man who never showed
me much affection but gave me a knack
Waking from comalike sleep, I saw the poppies,
with their limp necks and unregimented beauty.
Pause, I thought, say something true: It was night,
I wanted to kiss your lips, which remained supple,
but all the water in them had been replaced
with embalming compound. So I was angry.
I loved the poppies, with their wide-open faces,
how they carried themselves, beckoning to me
instead of pushing away. The way in and the way out