FIVE POEMS BY LARS BANQUO

DECEMBER’S SUNDAY IN SAVANNAH

It’s as if
all paper
& all ink
joined the wind &
fled for the hills—
     as if Memory became God again—

the man bathed in rags
thundered
his psalms
in the cold park by the
old tree—

he wove his fingers
into the Moon’s most
precious strings
and
as master
he made purgatory lurch and
dance
across the afternoon—


THE ONLY WARFARE I KNOW I SAW ON TV

Absorbing metal on
metal
on Metal on
METAL:

chemical burns on the chest,
no need for gloves or jackets—
it’s nothing but blisters out here.

The city shakes with
rage, the rage
has its own
gravity,
its own orbit:

the city is alive—
the city is alive & open
to everything that drips—

     nothing but shovels &
     carcasses;
     poisoned ideas
     reduced to cutthroat pragmatism
     from the other side
     of the bullets.


WAKE

Fuck It, Dude, It’s Summer

She is restless in her silk—
red wine swimming in place for hours at a time,
looking at the moon, at the sunset.

We speak in tongues we learned only on Ambien.

One space, two
spaces
ahead in the winding
snaking line of past,
present and future throwers of dirt,
she lets her legs so white and unscathed
move slightly beneath the sashaying
of that dress—

the dress could be for church,
but it could also could catch vodka rain on winter mornings
on frozen angel streets—
the dress could be paired with glasses over auburn pools of
honey, a blazer, pink lips.
This time, though, she slipped her body into it
for a wake.

The line snakes around without movement,
lionized by the stench of parlor of
death
of
pomade and ill-fitting duds—

gazes blaze around this candy store
where death and guts are fed by
the lucky dozens who will still breathe more.

Touches her hair once, twice,
the river of red like mirage like crimson trauma
moving together in motion she flicks the cherry lock
back on her slender self,
cherubic mouth alive with the porcelain
freezing her at seventeen—
        or is that just for me?

Brutal snow globe over the week,
covers all with stench,
the stench young boys shouldn’t smell,
or ever be burned in or cried over in.

Boys like this boy—
he should be kept whole, and marched to
the top of a snow-capped mountain,
and can only be joined, celebrated
perhaps rejuvenated,
by those who can climb to where the snow falls down from.

She is there twirling motionlessly,
and I breathe in the skin;
nonetheless, it feels like our prom again,
maybe our wedding,
our births,
our fights,
our smoke and our cancers,
our drugs and our cold,
our tears,
our funerals,
our wakes.


FRESH OUT

for Francesca

I
The moon we share is
yellow & cold; we’ve got the starless
black sea hovering all around us,
suspended like a lost underground city, like
jelly in stoned sleep parking lot—

my suicide stains the stars a violet velvet;
my bed’s still warm in the asylum.

Two leather boots in step with mine, she
breathes warmth into my wooden eyes &
time is like something ugly & dead.

I move toward what will surely be gallows,
belly & lungs full of everything new & foul.

II
She’s got a nickname—
every letter off her tongue rolls
from throat to
pearls to serpent & out over
thunderhills of wet peach lips—
every curl of cascading smile is
born & dies in her
Rocky Mountain eyes.


GREY HOUSE, K HOUSE

Jumbled rage & unfed jargon
pierce the frigid evening—
     orderlies everywhere
     swinging the needles like reapers swing silent Scythes—
they strike down Ophelia in a room
with no windows—


      in a cabin with no fireplace—


Lars Banquo writes unpublishable novels and poetry. He lives in Connecticut.