TWO POEMS BY PATRICK JAMES DUNAGAN
TWO TAKES ON EQUI
it’s just sport.
Ghostly dark in a fashion
words have of endearment
I don’t care so much about
having anything to say.
Each time I start to write the review
I begin a poem, instead.
The other night I heard sexual moans
coming in from the bathroom window
tonight, it’s a baby’s cries, again.
I had thought it gone.
Funny, how strange sounds sound
when you listen all alone.
out of control.
Not that I mind.
WHO IS ELAINE EQUI?
Trying to write the value
found in words a woman cares
overnight week by week
conversing with each other as hour
by hour name by name poems
pour out and evening comes
films with voice-over commentaries
is the poetry so different?
Spring arrives with some drizzle
you better believe I love her forms.
When I get distracted
I fall in love
it’s so easy to do
it’s not about desire so much
I fall in love
& it’s easiest
when I get distracted.
THE ART OF FINE REVIEWING
Elaine moves a step ahead
I bring her two steps back.
The poem is what cannot be killed by the translator.
Cooking is an art of translation
added to the normal amount of baggage
burdening the mouths of youth to be fed
forever doing nothing but thinking:
“You must desire.”
The words are never ours to keep.
Just as an honor student caught in the halls without a pass
I live with the shame of it and do not have the energy
of the sun-soaked tomato ripe upon the branch.
** This poem sequence written on the backside pages of the press kit packet included with review copy of Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems by Elaine Equi Coffee House press, 2007. Equi’s words and lines inextricably scattered throughout. **
A Sloop in the Heart of Things
Would a word less is more of
tune down the frankness upon
what Nature grows admire
committing act to memory & a debt
becomes of two, healing pact—
chirping of the birds
fact of acorn born will
a morning walk up Golden Gate
expresses a new century’s hope in parts
to yield revenue in the abstract
a wrong yet to be set right expects
boldness in chirps
honesty the wind accepts
occurs abuzz in
a kiss of foreign sorts
is the world thrust up
to know of nothing
the frame exists
willed to angle
fix corners that withhold
drawing a box out of the whole
admiration the ease of the maker
the imagination of the imagination
in love with shapes of shade
Patrick James Dunagan lives in San Francisco and works in the library at USF. Poems and chapbooks have been published by Auguste Press, Blue Book, Chain, Pompom, and Red Ant Press among others.