Contact the Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

Contact The Author: rdlbarton@netscape.net

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



Saturday, November 07, 2015

Fernophobia

Amygdala (Online) November 2015


Nearly dawn
near the border:
Seconal, Valium, booze.
No one expected
the slow opening of eyes,
least of all
the man among the ferns, dismayed.
This was to be the longest sleep,
the rest, at last, so well-deserved.
Imagine his surprise:
dew-soaked, a slug
across the bridge of his nose,
no shoes or recollection.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Eurydice

Deep Water Literary Journal (Online)  August 2015

She goes to that dark land
of her own free will
and far too often.
 
She blames it on snakebites:
something inside writhes, closes.
Below, something opens
invites her in,  insists;
she does not resist.
 
In the morning, dazed,
apologetic,
she rises, stares
burning in the day’s light
she barely sees
then turns again,
descending.
 
I am no Orpheus
to follow her there.
I let her fall.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Breathless

Your One Phone Call  (Online) July 2015

There is neither edge nor precipice;
nor slide, nor knowable fall.
There is only bottom.
Lack makes itself known
abruptly, not losing or loss.
There is only nothing, suddenly.


There is neither flight nor flying
nor slipping away into airlessness;
there is no drag or drain, no
low warning, no looming alarm.
There is only bottom and nothing
.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Revisiting Venus

Objects in the Rear View Mirror (Print Anthology) July 2015
Kind Of A Hurricane Press


               He leaves the hospital for the last time, unable to forget her face.

Half the country was locked in an arctic vortex that night, wind chill readings in the dozens of degrees below-zero, but he’d driven home—an hour’s drive over The Heights—with the window fully open, his hands frozen on the wheel, his eyes blinded, the radio blaring some almost incomprehensible ‘60s tune about love and a forever he can only just barely recall.

When he reached the top of The Heights he remembered how he’d once stopped at the pull-off on a mid-summer night, sat quietly for an hour staring up at Venus, and written a poem about a homesick Canadian dying to get home, flying across the median, sailing over the ditch, and crashing in flames into the granite embankment. After all the years of reading and reciting the poem, it had ceased to be a fiction. He never crossed The Heights without recalling it.

Now, years and years and half a year later, flying home, frozen, he forces himself to decelerate when the headstone grey granite, harder than mere rock, looms, beckoning.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Icarus, These Days

Anthology: Greek Fire (print) July 2015)
Lost Tower Publications

Morning: Icarus pursues a correlation
between a red hawk, gliding,
silent on a far dark horizon
and the first slash of sunrise,
dull fire before the day’s flames.
But everything intervenes:
meetings that haven’t
happened, that won’t happen
until after it's light, until after
it’s almost dark again;
the coffee that spills,
the words that don’t;
the pills and calls
and all the deadly needy
people, ready to be served,
waiting to be saved.

He’s an unwilling subject:
a wing he cannot grasp, an
image of small flame spread out
across a wide and empty air,
lifts him from sleep but leaves him,
breathless and parched, unable
to speak; drops him, speechless,
down among the boulders
of another desperate day.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Appraisal

Your One Phone Call (Online) July 2015


When you find me, here,
try to imagine me whole:

52 year-old meat, hairy,
leaning on my last leg,

grizzly, unbearable;
a spectacled sight. Behold

before you the aftermath
of a half-century of breath;

half a million hours, wasted,
spent like small change

on small changes. These days,
if you seek me here, here

you will find me, such as I am:
crutched and unbalanced, blinking,

a teetering relic, nakedly unearthed,
recently given to fits, recently,

when exposed to sunlight, stunned.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Empties

Your One Phone Call (online)  June 2015


I had to rescue my older brother once.
He called me after two years of no contact,


begged me to drive to his house, ask his wife
for the spare car keys, meet him downtown


in a bar’s parking lot.  He said he might be
passed out in the back seat.  I told him


I didn’t remember what his car looked like
but he hung up on me before I could ask.


Sure enough: passed out in the back seat
and not a single syllable of thanks.  It still


ticks me off, almost half a century later.
And I have this younger brother, keeps


looking in those same old bottles, looking
for something I know he’ll never find.


My older brother is his older brother, too;
everything I’ve ever seen, he’s seen.


You’d think he’d get the message.  No.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Red As A Bell

Local Nomad (Online) April 2015


Red as a bell
he thought
Red as a wagon
     redder than anger
     & wet
Thicker than water

Something buzzed
     startled by shadows
Particles of dust
centuries old
would not settle there

He turned the corner
in a glint of final steel
     foreign faces followed
There was a feeling
no one knew what to think
any more



Horizons away
Hollywood imagined it differently
Horizons away    
Mars was half swung round    
          in the midnight sky

The world was half asleep

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Whistler's Annunciation

Red Wolf Journal (Online) March 2015


Mister Whistler looms
down the gloomy street,
hoping to meet the morning
but limps himself back home
before dawn.
                        When the sun
comes scrambling up at last
over the staring and eggy town,
sleepy in its early kitchens,
all the yellow curtains
in all the yellow windows
burst into Sunday flames
and fall, burning the countertops
and leaving their feeble yellow ash
on Mister Whistler’s sad and
unswept morning floors.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Chase

Red Wolf Journal (Online) March 2015

The old man scoops another
thin scrape of riverbank, dips
the rim to drown the till,
swirls the pan. Part of the dig
slips over the edge with every
circle. The murky water clears.
Sandy granite. Schist. A glint
of mica. The man looks up.
The sun is gold in a blue sky.
The man sits still, resigned.
He sighs; scoops; swirls; spills.
He wills himself to wait.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Sundress

Red Wolf Journal (Online) March 2015

She thinks about how she looks,
about how she looks in a sundress;
puts it on and steps on out
onto Main Street, pushes her stroller
down past the Creemee stand
where the hunks hang out,
admiring each other’s tattoos
and planning their romantic assaults
on the wide-eyed waitress at the Valley House,
making bets on who among them is
most likely to get to second base first.


She knows she doesn’t stand a chance
of catching their full attention
or holding it very long, but she’s
hoping there’s enough breeze
to flutter her sundress,
lure at least one of them
into a second look, hold his eyes long enough
so that her red hair and lipstick
sends him a green light, tempts him to
come on over and chat her up.


But the stroller’s working against all that.
Sundress or no, lipstick or not,
she knows she’s made her bed;
she just doesn’t want to lie in it alone.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Anthropomorphism

One Sentence Poems (Online) February 2015


I saw my father cry
like a baby
once.