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Other notable work by Daniel Wilcox.
Charles F. Thielman-
Headlines promising a day
of dark wings fed by thermals, sirens
circle below the plank of a dangerous night.
A paper carrier, fingers darkened by newsprint,
his arms full, walks beneath an arch of birdsongs,
porch to cement stoop, dropping The Chicago Tribune
on welcome mats, eyes and ears tracking the slow cars
and suspect doorways, pre-dawn sky like new skin,
a veneer over balsa grain, today being his turn
to raise the flag above half-mast, much
still held sacred this spring.
Carrying spurs of transit staccato,
I retreat to here from driving city bus,
yellow brake-squeal turns, ear-drum lanced.
Hair-trigger sidewalks prepped for war,
lined with saplings.
I retreat through thick wood doors,
long fingers thrumming bass,
blued drinks slaking August throats.
My lists of angry speeches left to simmer
as guitar ignites a fire, piano smoking.
My back relaxing into the sways
of this good time crowd full of color.
A tall jazz woman broils a love song
and spoons it out, musk sauce
brushed into marrow.
All of us down for this cool balm,
spooning jazz across our full canvas,
straight from soul onto scotch burning ice.
O, she throws her full indigo song
into the rhythm-thrummed floor,
fingers snapping all here, all here,
and the specific names of trees
ease into murals of shade,
into murals of our children
holding their arms out,
waiting for doves.
Insights unfold beyond
the wishbones of wants.
Opened wings drying
above rock strata,
she’s focused on what blooms,
brush-tip carrying a bead of dark blue.
He swears his oaths, by word and choice phrase,
staccato fogs and gray scarfs drawn away by wind,
ice building on his moustache and beard
as he snowshoes towards the bridge made brilliant
by January sun, with snow etched on struts and railing
by a 16-hour blizzard, now limned bright white,
riverbank to riverbank, along that ferrous,
linear and sub-zero route.
His college rises red-bricked and heated,
across from the snow-drifted riverside park.
Balancing with ski poles, he lifts and pushes
his snowshoes over and through powder then thin crust,
salting his commitment with chant and rant,
urging his legs through snow and wind to the workshop class,
planning to deliver for critique a poem appreciating winter
writ for and to a certain young woman,
the blue-eyed dawn skier with a tropical heart
who tongues vowels into his dissonance,
brings out his laugh,
asks if the strong poles she gave him
help him to maneuver?
They have lunch at the cafeteria after the class,
dessert to be occasioned
and celebrated via his spontaneous and confident decision
to go with his first draft.
she cadences the leavened dusk,
a sweet musician of love-summer’s night
opposite from the Haight far-coasted away;
her cute auricles dangle Beethoven notes,
in this late ‘67 Philly rock cave of peaceniks,
while outside world-round Nam explodes;
a concerted violinist with me, her conscientious
objector–we’re subjected to sought blasting,
only 10 feet from huge blockbuster speakers,
utterly noise-‘numbled’ by Moby Grape
in the dark flashing psychedelic night—
torrential storm of noise,
but then suddenly she, my classical lover,
plugs her aural openings
fearing tonal loss
–like her mused mentor;
oh, my dear
ear-achingly beautiful girl, not swaying here
earstopper for the glorious,
*Originally published in different form in The Write Room
Gazing on Gaza
Like Samuel, Vonnegut gets called up from the grave
Judge for yourself,
No one’s got eyes
To see, no one with a Kingly, Martin sort of vision/dream;
Only strident martinets
Now heaving/hurling—ethically sick,
While UN diplomats ‘jawbone’ us to death
With nice resolutions; Samsonlite…
Where has their gaze gone?
(I mean gaza)
Samson’s at it again
Bringing the building down
Because he’s lost his gaze or gaza;
Only covered women (and children)
Or buried, burned, abandoned
Like the 4 youths (3 versus 1), and a few thousand,
Boxed and shipped,
Or cowering, smoking from past rockets
In Tel Aviv or Gaza City
No Delilah here;
Just Philistines rage on and Samson’s might holds
And many less hairs or heirs
our ‘checkered’ past
we three sons in new shoes squished hot
sticky blacktop that veined our street,
so many cracks–twisting to rock ‘n roll,
but then encountered our ogre parent;
“scrub off all that!” we got told.
i countered, “it’s the other sun’s fault–
chubbycheck mate!” with a twinkled glint.
we got railed and tarred down
to that asphalt sin
on our outer souls.
Daniel’s wandering lines have appeared in many magazines in the United States, Canada, and overseas including Word Riot, Centrifugal Eye, Write Room, Static Movement, Camel Saloon, vox poetica, Poetry Pacific, Counterexample Poetics, and Unlikely Stories IV.
Before that Daniel hiked through the University of Nebraska, Cal State University, Long Beach (Creative Writing), Montana, Pennsylvania, Europe, Arizona, and Palestine/Israel. He now lives on the central coast of California with his quilting wife.