Thursday, March 12, 2015

fireside chat ~ Joseph Milford


good poets know when to shut-up.
your cloak wraps about your ankles as you warp.
the poem on your fork is a gringo because your country
is conquered. stop standing in a stadium looking for Eden
now, all the places you ever wanted to go to are in you
all the fortune cookies have been read, floating in the miso
thinking that home was something you could own
my knees are ant-bites in weeds from pre-pubia
western mind makes mines not museums
you just hope there are no more explosions
which give children tongues to run with
home for bacon. kite flying above
the universe with humans parts in its strings
watching an entire culture punch itself in the face
and sell black-eyes to blind children
O, hearkeners! what you hearken to?
what say you all, those so hardened?
I see every dog in the street as wayward intentions
I am jealous of and miss. do you also darken?
I feel your tail between your legs. moons don’t hover
moons choke with chalk all day. let’s all choose not to howl
it makes you lovable, your ears hanging down
like pods and nettles, or flags striped with invisible
violence. once, we ran faster than hell’s wolves
we covered such terrain; I remember when we
got scared by something; then we started making
incredibly sharp maps which severed our internal tongues

an old man speaks in the mirror to his 12 year old past self ~ Joseph Milford


once, it’s true, I did use hairspray.
I was a boy in the Carter administration.
things weren’t not awesome.
Luke Skywalker action figure had a saber
you could slide out of his arm.
every time I get bloodwork done I think of this.
the entire medical industry is my William Shatner.
do you think I could take your blood better?
with a piano wire, shuriken, or fishing lure?
a whale bone cut a bamboo shoot and empties
upon a banana leaf and I drink you.
in the mirror, my beard’s shavings clog a plastic fiberglass sink.
imagine fixing your hair before an ultimate bleeding.
whale-oil on your scalp. You are ridiculous.
please be a red-blooded-filled boy again.

after Wallace Stevens ~ Joseph Milford


Stevens says one must have the mind of winter
I have the mind of pollen

the papers pile higher than the heart

I killed myself tonight
next, I was made aware
of all of the selves that should have been killed
and I killed the wrong one

the poem of the act of the mind
is like
the hand on the neck of the wind







Joseph Victor Milford is a Professor of English and a Georgia writer who is currently working on his EdD doctoral studies. His first collection of poems, Cracked Altimeter, was published by BlazeVox Press in 2010, and he is presently composing a collection of poems with Hydeout Press, forthcoming in 2015. He is the host of The Joe Milford Poetry Show, where he has compiled an archive of over 300 interviews and readings with American and Canadian poets.  In addition, he is also the editor of RASPUTIN: A Poetry Thread (a literary journal of poetry).