Previous Feature: David Spicer

David Spicer has had poems accepted by or published in American Poetry Review, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., The Drunken Llama, In Between Hangovers, Nixes Mate Review, Ploughshares, Slim Volume, Yellow Mama, Your One Phone Call, and elsewhere. The former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books, he is the author of one full-length collection, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke’s Press, 1987), along with four chapbooks. He lives on a mean street in Memphis.



I’m no grumbler, but the next
time I wear an apron and pretend
to like the customers in this
sorry salon, I might go full
tilt and crash through the door.
The police may have to escort
me to the pool hall, where at least
I can wear a mustache on May Day.
I thought Mannie, the boss, who
hired me not to sneeze or gurgle
in public, was always a rattlesnake,
but when he accused me of building
a tunnel for a burglary ring, I knew
he needed counseling. I wish the bank
would foreclose on the joint. Mannie
thinks a conspiracy exists to bomb
his villa, too. One day somebody
abducted him, and we all played
the accordion and translated his
priceless arcana about bruised pearls
and wallets shaped like buckets.
And now he’s blind and grazes
outside, babbling like a human
puzzle and asking for a cane to guide
him through the latest slump in his
business. It’s enough to make me flee.


Proof I’m Real                                                                                                                                    —for Michael Bloomfield, 1943-1981

Insomnia again. If only I could
dream that Illuminati tutored me,
disguised me as a groom with glinting
eyes who eats goat cheese in a sunlit
room of butterflies with ruby eyes
and wings sharper than sewing
scissors. No nightmares for me,
so I pretend I’m Nero playing my
guitar, swaying, dancing to Rome’s
flames, clocks ticking as I flip
on a hoodie to hide from hallucinations.
I lounge in the terrace hammock, juggle
bald heads of my girl’s Barbies, peek
at seagulls. I’d better take a stroll,
and, trembling, carry a flashlight
outside under the dark sky uglier
than black cream. Maybe I’ll wear
a hairpin on my thirty white strands.
True, I’m a jailer of my freedom
but wish I could sleep among the pines
tonight: they want proof I’m real
in my lambskin gloves. Instead, I’ll
stay inside, squabble with myself,
and shoot the tv before I chew
my cabbage soup. Then my eyes
should glisten before I poke them
with chopsticks I use to knit
iridescent mufflers, and finally
I’ll see what fire remembers.


All Hail! Copies of David Spicer’s first book, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke’s Press, 1987), can still be found kicking around over at Abe Books. Please, click on the cover image below to learn more . . .

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