Contact the Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

Contact The Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

Ron. Lavalette's work has appeared in these fine publications:



Friday, December 03, 2004

Looking In

The Country Mouse (Online) Dec.04

Fully banqueted,
the nicotine outcast
scavenges cigarettes poolside
while dregs of the party
sip Tanquerays with tonic
and linger over cheesecake.

Nothing is as blue as the pool.
The night, narcotic, welcoming,
lengthens; spreads itself out
behind a buttery August moon.

In the morning, huddled
over coffee, everyone is
blown dry by sunrise
and smells like almonds.




Thoreau Before Dawn

Four feels odd, I suppose,
except to those who rise at five
or, as a rule, at half-past five.

Most of us must toil and strive;
do not have the life we chose
so long ago, in which we’d doze,

in which we’d trust in God at least
to toss a piece of daily bread
our way, by which we’re barely fed.

But long and long before we’re dead,
we’ll know the nature of the beast:
we’ll trust ourselves, and starve, or feast.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Fallen Away

THE COMSTOCK REVIEW (Print) Sept. 04

I don’t know when it happened;
I let it all fall away. I let it fall

on the long drive to work in the morning
in the sunlight, let it fall crossing

ridge after jaded ridge, fall
with the glimpse of an unlikely hawk

or a capture of crows, or the stacking
of cordwood, the season’s final frost,

fog on the hillside, or the flutter
of a yellow kite in a midsummer wind.

Like the stones of the dead, untended
in the long grass in the middle of June,

in the middle of nowhere I let it fall,
left it all behind and disappeared,

slipped into seamless dreams, drifted
through blue nights and black mornings.

I watched the water boil for coffee,
sat by the river and watched the water

run away toward heaven, heard angels
whisper in the leaves, left the secret

undiscovered, saw the uncertain moon
swim, reflected in dark, starlit pools.

Gone, now, the last of all the wasted words;
the effort, senseless, of upward struggle.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Beanman's Paranoia / Reading The Entrails

MiPO Online Aug. '04

Beanman's Paranoia

Hungry as a jungle cat and
loopy as a Chianti loon
the beanman and the wishy lady
come walking.
The beanman's convinced
the librarian's out to get him
but the wishy lady says no
it's just the moooooon
making tiiiiiides inside his head.

All the same, though,
in the back of her mind
the wishy lady knows it’s true:
you can never trust the librarian.



Reading The Entrails

Bernie had a hole in his belly
as big as your head
for a minute
and Carole Anne
had the sweetest lips
the longest legs
and the driest thirst
for Cuervo
as she slipped
into darkness
like Bernie
forever
but slower

I'm gonna be
lonely as hell
today
horny as hell tonight



Friday, July 30, 2004

JOURNAL OF NEW ENGLAND WRITERS (PRINT) Nov 03
(Honorable Mention; Robt. Penn Warren Free Verse Competition)

Samsara

Almost 20years later, I find the Buddha.
I know him instantly. Each of us has aged,
lugging around our bellies, and I, too, am bald.

I see him through the window. Even at night,
six horizons from home, even through a sheet
of glass in sheets of rain, I know him instantly.

I know how the Buddha was broken. I go in
and tell the man how the Buddha was fired
from the dense, black clay of the Barton River,

his cracked glaze an accident of temperature.
I tell the man the Buddha’s mostly clay and glue;
tell him that the Buddha, shattered, has fallen

time and again for the same reasons; fallen,
time and again a foolish, foolish Buddha.



THE WRITER'S HOOD (online) Aug '03:

I've Married The Fly

I should have been home
alone in the kitchen
heating and eating a burger
checking the blue flame
under the cast iron pan.
I should have been
watching the cheese melt
watching the marbled fat,
browned, sizzled into grease,
run down the side of the patty
like a lava flow off Mauna Loa,
infernal, inexorable, out
toward a flat black beach,
broiled from above and below.

I should have been thinking of you
but instead I've married the fly.


IDEA MUSEUM (online) June ’03:

Disappearance

While you are away, I go out
into the sunless morning.
The door that closes behind me
closes forever. The house is an echo
and the vacant windows reflect
the flat grey-brown mulch in your gardens.
I have nowhere to go
but I get into the car and drive.

All the signs are stopsigns
People in the village stop, stare
as I pass, seeing only half of me.



Cow Myth Exposed

Even when the second city had its fire,
clearly, they experienced it first-hand.
The library was the first go. A homeless man,
smoking in the stacks, his clothes already smoky,
fell asleep amid the news of Euclid, the history
of shape, and dreamed of conflagrations, of ash
rising on waves of superheated air, then became it.
It was hard to tell the place from Alexandria.



MOONDANCE (online) Jan 03:

Janey At Five Below

Janey leaves alone
what she’s left behind. A door,
closed, remains closed.
Dark remains dark
and Janey does not linger
long enough to fix the blame.

Janey breathes
a slashing, glassy air. She
stands, transfixed, wreathed;
her own breath her only halo.



ANTHOLOGY OF NEW ENGLAND WRITERS (print) Nov 02:

Plains Bless The Newcomer

The fortune of finding a keyring
after having been given the keys:
shining ring on the sunny sidewalk
at the bus stop; and the driver, friendly;
these, and other blessings beside—
a yellow note, taped to my door near midnight,
Sandra, safe and away in The Windy City,
a fridge with a freezer that works---
these are the blessings of the plains,
and I am come to claim them all:
the countless thickets where the gray birds sing
the thunder, rolling through rolling hills,
the small, still lake where the water
holds the clouded sky upside-down, an
instant balanced on the promise of rain.




RAINTOWN REVIEW (print) Jun 02:

Invitation: The Shepherd To Join The Meager Flock

Climb on down, do.
We do not believe in gated air
nor find ourselves, chosen, unfolding
into welcomed and forgiving arms,
chastened and repentant. No. We are
too bold, always, and blind. Climb on down
to be among those who, nattering,
notice only the banquet’s crumbs; who
weave the lost threads of the Great Tapestry
into humble and ignorant cloth.




CONSPIRE (online) Aug 01:

Later She Said

Later she said
when you see her see if
she’s got those names right
see if she’s got that list
or the numbers reversed or
what was his name on the paper there
The doctor ought to know

See if she thinks
we should save it
if it’s red again or
check the list and see if
you can find out if she’s
waiting for the doctor
or she knows if I’m
having any pain or not

Tell her it’s red again
Tell her to tell the doctor it’s red




Betrayal

Othello is a small gray box beside the bed.
Two plastic tubes move air
from one place in the room
to another, but fail to inflate
useless, hungry lungs.
Late at night they lapse
and I am helpless,
lying in the dark,
listening
to mechanized promises
and the hiss of whispered lies.
I get up; move around the room
looking in the corners for morsels of sleep.
When I can breathe
I walk out to the desk
jot a few lines
about the death of Desdemona.




THE HIGGINSVILLE READER (print) May 01:

So Much Depends Upon A Red Wig

Ronald hasn’t shown
for several years now
since he came to cut the ribbon
and open the public doors;
has only sent an emissary
once or twice a month:
eighteen wheels and a logo
bearing frozen potatoes
and placemats or paper bags.

Manager Mike pines,
longs for a simple glimpse
of pancake, rubber nose,
or a pair of two-foot long
red plastic shoes.
He watches
his all-expenses-paid
managers’ incentive
Holiday in Cozumel
go south along Main,
turn left into Peking Gardens
while down the block, smirking,
his arch-enemy Wendy
serves Mike’s former regulars
with a vacant and Frosty smile.



POEMS NIEDERNGASSE (online) Feb 01:

Janey Misses Mister Right

Janey thinks back on aches
she remembers as
blades between shoulder blades,
sudden and sharp, electrified
tingle and shudder of
nerve impulses running
the length of her left side,
and the long flame of tendons
torn without warning.
Janey has that history.

She lets it wash over her
in the shower, lets it flood
her temples, invites it in
and feels the rush
of red again, lingering
like her last lover’s final touch.




MAELSTROM (print) Nov 00:

8/1

Tues. nite / Wed. am:
The prospect tonight of daylight tomorrow, the noises
on the second floor, the repetitive tiled hallways --
...it hurts, hurts.
Even deep Mingus on well-traveled tapes,
even Nocturnes no use, no use.
Bloody camel stubs in ashtray
1329 boulevard
can’t forget
bone pulled from bone, ancient practice, barbarism...

Another sun unwinds behind another smothered sky;
August opens slowly:
an ache of air impossible to breathe.

Ten before twelve. One into two goes soon,
Quick as a click.



PINE ISLAND JOURNAL (print) Oct 00:

Dream Farm

I want to have a farm he said
I want to make things grow
sun wind soil seed
the soft brown earth
the laugh-blue sky ---

Backache was all I could answer,
Downpour.
Wheels against the barn
rimmed with rust
the fallen gutterspouts
and all the grey and ancient boards
made echoes of agreement in the air.



ABLE MUSE (online) May 00:

The Most I Could Do

I watched: her breasts grow large
Her nipples swell her belly
Barge-like ferocious with child
Comes knocking
Like the moon at a midnight door
While angry he at home puked
and swore

Grudgingly she grew. He
Distracted, drunken, sunk
Beyond his own oblivion,
Telephones:
I don’t remember what / if he said:
The phone or he was nearly dead
or dead

And what could be said, then?
What could one say? The day is
Ended? The night is coming on?
What to do?
I offered her a cup of tea;
The most I could do: far more
than he.



LYNX EYE (print) May 00:
(Featured Artist: Three ‘Janey’ poems):

Janey

Janey’s boyfriend steers his goatee
and Metallica T-shirt down Main,

wishing he had leathers and a Harley.
From two to four, the empty ovens
bake only air, and Janey has to breathe.
Her mother’s echo recommends otherwise:
a simple change of shift, perhaps. Janey
simply shifts from foot to foot,
does not note the smallest change
from one sad jukebox world to the next.

Janey counts the empty booths again,
gathers herself near the window
considers the bars.



Janey Takes A Break**
Janey finds herself
in the furthest corner
of the darkest room:
everything there is cool.
She dreams of seamless days
and dreamless nights; she
trips in the hallway
under unlit lights and
sings to the tune
of untolled golden bells.

Janey gets lost in the attic
but she won’t come down:
everything there is, is cool.

**Subsequently published at Wicked Alice

Janey Waits At The Airport
Janey sits and listens
to arguments in Arabic
about the quality of water
on West Bank kibbutzim—
she takes no sides; finds
the contenders pointless,
the point of contention dry.

Janey reads other people’s poetry,
discovers dances beyond dizzy.
She borrows occasional phrases,
minces words and, sifting,
shifts an emphasis, deletes
a wasted measure, turns
the tune and, lifted, sings.


RED RIVER REVIEW (online) May 00:

Ms. Doe


She was old, so they beat her severely.
She was old: they kidnapped her,
drove her away stuffed in the back
of her own stolen car. She was old.
When she regained consciousness
they stabbed her repeatedly
with her own stolen steak knife
and dumped her on the roadside;
drove away, dreaming they were druglords.

She was old, so the wounds to her throat
and the wounds to her chest, and the wounds
to her face, and the wounds to her arms
will take ages and ages to heal;
and the scars that they left on her body
and the scars that they left on her mind
will last and last and last and last.


NEW WORKS REVIEW (online) Apr 00:

Crossing
 
The river sings of its rocks, mirrors
emerald and jade where summer
shadows attempt to outrun
sundown. I intrude, I presume,

I stand near the middle. The second cut
of hay is on the banks, neatly ordered
in rows this time of year, golden,
measuring the march-step toward August.

I think about changes: the movement
of sand through narrow places, how
a ripple diminishes downstream,
how a sound sounds when it stops.




Landscape
Wheeled glossy-wing’d and black
Corvus Cornix, Corvus Corax
to Home in golden Tamarack
this cold day in space & sad
when the sun goes down these hills

Merge here wood & water
inland, hillbound streams
dreaming driftwood beaches
along the forested seaboard;
Merge green & grey the conifer
and elm stands, gazing, down
where fine white waterlace
fans flat rockface & falls

Melancholy in this mist land
The Raven and The Crow




The Last I Heard
(for kiebish)

I’m rudderless tonight,
the forgotten lamb of visions,
(as clear as yesterday’s sky)
(as pointless as planets warring)
the Loch Ness Monster:
Nessitaris Rhombopteryx,
the loneliest of creatures.

The last I heard
you thought I hated you
but I’m only a madman in Coventry
staring up dumb at the Moon.