Contact the Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

Contact The Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

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



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How Billy Writes A Play

Red Wolf Journal (Online) December 2014
Anthologized (Theme: Play) January 2015

He chooses a theme and a pen.
The nib is crucial, especially
by the time he hits the third act
when he makes a fine point
on a dozen or so pencils for back-up.
He exposes the characters by stages,
methodically spilling ink on the script
here, blood in the storyline there, and
—as their hearts resolve themselves
from paper into flesh—he beats
them into submission, his manuscript
their master, his work their play.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Landscape Triptych

Canary (Online) December 2014
--Part 1 previously published (April 00) at New Works Review--

1.

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


2.

               Two days back in Time
               Birds, massing:

Put wing to Northland air you riveted,
strung out & Against the sky:
pull Winter in behind you

Like a vacuum:
going, and nowhere.
Somewhere trees reach, waiting.

Cornfields standing, left, amazed—
frost light'ning stalks & leaves
(where air has touched with ice
the leathered scarecrow's fame)
the stillness of the moment

Flight Flight


3.

               Pinpoint: the Northern Star a sky away:
               Winter on these hills

Where the eye looks
upward, nothing moves—
above the landscape
nothing is moving through
still air

Bare these treelimbs in extreme
starlight, frostbitten in air.
What sun there is
is cold

Still this greatcoated space
under white inches of muffle

Empty these skies

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Step Right Up

Red River Review (Online) August 2014

My Uncle Del, my father always said, could sell
an icecube to an Eskimo, a dozen pairs of shoes
to unwary legless vets; could sell, without a beat,
Beelzebub himself a heater and a book of matches
and insurance, too, just in case of fire.
                                                                My father
said my Uncle Del had paid his way through school
by getting fools to waste their time and lose their
thin and bottom dimes on crooked games of chance
they had no chance of winning.
                                                   And I don’t know
if all that’s true, or if my dad was selling me a bill
of goods about a relative I’d never met, and yet
it seems it might be true:
                                         When I was young, if
I had run to circus tents, if I were offered choice,
I knew what kind of circus work I’d choose. I’d use
my voice to rope the luckless suckers in; I’d stand
outside the tent and sing in praise of freaks. I’d get
the rent and every other cent the dopes could spend
to see the geeks and flipperkids, the tiny Raisin Boy,
the swallower of lengthy swords, the Fishface Twins,
then send them out to borrow more, if only just
to see the show again.
                                    I’d bark them in again, alright.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Valentine's Day

Blue Skirt  (Online) August 2014

Valentine’s Day               
(KFL  2/14/27 — 1/24/01)

No one goes there now.
For days the smooth snow,
unbroken to the treeline,
lifted there by wind
along the ridge, settles
at last among the stones.
At night, stars, high,
hiss an inaudible static,
dance for the dead.


In the morning,
if there is sun,
it washes down
between the stones,
lights but does not warm.
Cold reigns,
and I stand in the drift,
nearly ash among the ashes.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Seeing Margot

Deep Water Literary Journal (Online) August 2014


I see Margot two or three times a month,
tell her about my fear of being hunted,

being rounded up for running out of pills
in the middle of the night. Mostly, she

waits patiently while I caress my lies or
opt, instead, to spend my time describing

the things I find lying on the frozen lawn.
Sometimes when we talk I think about how

I left the other doctor high and dry, owing
him thousands of dollars, and I remember

saying goodbye to Trudy back on the ward,
watching me go and asking if I'd gotten the cure.

Yesterday I let my watch read 11:50 all day long.
Late in the morning, something like snow came

spitting down, overwhelming my wipers.
Crossing Main near midnight, I saw Margot

through the windshield. I wanted to get out
and tell her that I've lived before, tell her

that the exterminators are coming around
to gather us up, that I need to see her now

for an hour or so, need to have some coffee,
need to get and take my pills, go home,

scrape the baby off the frozen grass.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Clapboard House (3 Pieces)
(Online) July 2014
 
 
 
Danny B. initials the dust
of the librarys basement window
makes his mark inside a heart with
his favorite girlfriends initials, pierces
 
his full and dusty heart with an arrow,
with angled feathers and a very serious
point; and despite all the books and
periodicals the institution offers, nothing
 
means more than these four letters
because Danny knows that tonight
after the slow dance, walking her home
in the dark under the feeble streetlight
 
he can stop and point to the window,
point to his dusty handiwork and hope
she overlooks the crack in the glass
and the fact that several other windows
 
all bear similar artifacts: his name
in dust in identically shafted hearts,
 
and his former girlfriends initials.
 
The girls not blind, she sees it all
 
but doesnt care; she doesnt care
the windows cracked, doesnt care
that half a quivers love is spent
on half a dozen other dusty panes.
 
She lets him make a pass, lets him
kiss her under the blazing streetlight,
and when the dust has settled she
goes back home, cracks a notebook,
 
fills a dozen empty pages with
Mrs Dan, Mrs Daniel, Mrs Danny B.

     
Grace

Thank you, father, for all that hash when I was
just a high schoolboy;  and for all those girls,
their cute little pink feet and silver toe rings
up on the dashboard, Stones on the radio,
calico dresses in the wind, tanned legs, hot
nights, warm flesh, and all those summer
sunstruck mornings waking up with no idea
whose house I was in, whose bed,
and not a seconds thought about how its
only Tuesday, smoky and unknowable.
Thanks for the moon reflected in windshield
raindrops, and for midnight mushrooms,
Day-Glo under blacklight, mescaline boogie,
acid rock,  and acid.  But mostly thank you
for 68: Danny Riley and his floral necktie
finishing up his student teaching,
smiling and handing me books, saying
Oh man, you should read some Ginsberg, or 
Brautigan, maybe.  No; here, I got it.
For you, Ferlinghetti.

     
Wrong Hands

He doesnt know how he let his hands
do the things his hands had done:
casually thrown away a wedding ring,
made a fist and used it, ransacked a
complete strangers home, plunged
a needle, pulled a trigger.
                                        Its like they
were someone elses hands; like theyd
never opened a book, never taken an
oath, never tucked a little girl into bed,
or stroked her hair.
                              Now, everything
had slipped away from him, left him
predictably alone, completely
empty-handed.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Haiku Stupid

High Coupe (Online) June 2014
Subsequently Anthologized: Storm Cycle (Kind Of A Hurricane Press) August 2015


1.

sixteen chickens cross
I curse the road for its width
stupid slowpoke birds

 
2.

they roll themselves down
stupid Pakistani socks
blame it on wal-mart

 
3.

stupid galaxy
we have nowhere else to go
stay home in the pits

 
4.

deadly golden arch
America malnourished
stupid plastic food

 
5.

turn the damned thing off
stupid reality shows
big ol’ bunch of dopes

  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Soon, Green

One Sentence Poems (Online) May 2014

Today in the notch, despite the mere scrim
of a mid-April snow, rainy flakes barely frozen,
falling, liquefied, through an early morning
mountain air, even the casual eye could catch
(captured in a momentary parting of fog)
the small grey buds of the red maple,
the low spark, purple flame of crocus.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

All Things Considered

The Liberal Media Made Me Do It!
(Print Anthology April 2014)

Three soon-to-be grads from Harvard
or Sarah Lawrence opine on the morning
news how their Senior classes seem
simultaneously base and baseless
in light of their last three years abroad,
considering how, after all, once you’ve seen
morning in Jalalabad, everything golden
in the heart of the desert, everything wan
and wavering in the high desert heat,
everything else pales by comparison.
Or so they say, three young women
taking their last few classes, studying
The Modern Islamic Middle East, The History
Of Moorish Art, The Economics and Politics
Of Oil Producing Emirates As Reported In
The Western Press, Such As It Is.
One of them has perfect parents in
Prague, will go to live with them as soon as
the mortarboard is tossed in the air;
one of them is hoping for a career in
diplomacy, if she survives a military stint
and a battle for the civil servant’s desk.
The third is planning a family
just outside The Beltway, her most
immediate goal a gallery, small showings
on alternate Tuesdays, her house
only a mile or two away, jogging
distance, close enough to push a stroller
or walk a border collie, far enough away
to kid herself she’s got a life that matters.




 

Monday, March 03, 2014

Death Is Like The Floor

Right Hand Pointing (Online) March 2014


Death is like the floor
in a hotel’s tiled men’s room:
the one-by-one inch squares
that no one ever notices,
the hard repeated pattern
that no one ever notices
until a tile is missing
and it’s you.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Well

red wolf journal (online) February 2014

All the water we needed was
well below the glacial till.
Twelve gallons a minute, four
hundred feet down. Charlie
and his boys had to keep
changing the bit, making sure
the mud went down smooth, the
flush and cuttings came up
like they should.
                                Three
blistering days went by
before they hit anything
vaguely resembling bedrock;
three days of a grumbling crew,
the chaser truck shuttling
back and forth for pipe,
for Cokes and smokes and
general store hoagies, hotter
than sweltering hell and only
the middle of May.
                                Tonight,
two Mays later, I’m out on
the deck, an icy gin and tonic
reminds me it’s almost summer
again, Venus smiles down, farmboys
off in the distance, probably
drunk, have themselves a little
impromptu fireworks display,
either because they just got back
from Toronto, or because they’re
too whopping drunk to know it’s
not quite the Fourth.
                                Either way,
I’m waiting for you here
beside the well tonight, enjoying
the show from a distance; happy
as man lately lost in the desert
come in at last for something cool
to drink.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cold Snap

Front Porch Review (Online) January 2014
--Originally appeared in Feb 2006 at Crescent Moon Journal

Outside for obligatory photographs:
ubiquitous head-shot, profile,
three-quarter profile, bust.
I stand between the battered, rusty
plow, lost in a stand of spruce,
and the house’s winter windows,
nearly buried by blizzard. I squint
and I will be squinting forever
standing, frozen by the shutters.

When I see myself, inside, later,
at first only pixels, then paper thin,
I am several hundred pounds of meat
none of it lean, leaning on a cane,
a lame spectacle trapped by
reflex and bifocality, with snow
at the temple of my thinning hair.