January 12-18, 1998: Richard Lynch

Week of January 12, 1998-January 18, 1998

Richard Lynch

Richard Lynch


“Life can be as real as the movies,” says Richard, “but it all depends on who is watching ” A voyeur to reality, he has two big brothers, and both of them are smaller His little sister could be a dwarf, if she tried harder.

Ashamed that he should lose on a technicality, Richard regrets that he has never written poetry “Poetry is this overgrown mollusk in a tux and crown of thorns You have to fill out forms and apply for a license before you can follow it to clay pigeon hunting at the club I have always had a fear of poetry, so I write what I call divots Lumps of sod you rip up when you overswing on the golf course They pretend they are getting somewhere, but don’t get very far, and you have to put them back where you found them or risk the angst of the foursome following close behind Usually old women with foul mouths, colored balls and a cooler full of Budweiser Eventually, no matter how hard you try to be coureteous to the rootage, the divots die You could let the ladies play through, but there is some glee club behind them, and who needs THAT?! I can’t pretend to be Homer .Simpson, or the other guy “

Richard does appreciate being elected as favorite poet, however, he prefers to be referred to as ‘divotiere’ “” a name derived from the famous French sod farm.

Richard is an editor, teacher, and fictional character He accepts job offers without thinking He will soon be setting up a non-profit foundation for the preservation of figurines Donations accepted.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by Richard Lynch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

Impromptu 28:
Insight into Hot Air

in a bell tower,
where nothing rings
I stand
and silent look
at the land of former kings
and bellow
with a bellows
“there is no anchovy on my sandwhich!!”
to say nothing of the mustard.

Some poets spend time introducing the poem personally I think the title should do all the work
I wish I could live forever where I am right now in this situation, with this immeasurable distress, and these cavities, and damn near bifocals because I’ll miss it when it’s gone and don’t want to spend all my time hoping I can get it back when it leaves,  wondering why it had to go and where it went

a shoe horn
the best pair
of sneakers
will ever wear.

Not quite poetry But not quite fiction

The Plot
(according to Alice)

A boy, his bat, his ball, his mom, his dad, his sister, his twin brothers, and his grandmother all get into his parent’s station wagon with the family dog and enough snack apples to help feed the underprivileged in New York.

They are going somewhere They drive for some time in attempting to get there There is witty banter The car gets stuck in a high-way traffic jam.

Mother offers snack apples as the car begins to show signs of overheating–everyone refuses
with an edge of annoyance, rolling their eyes in a way that says ‘mom and her snack apples ‘ Father stops car, gets out and looks under the hood Says several things he maybe ought
not to in front of his small children People in neighboring cars wonder if this same thing will happen to them Many shut off
air-conditioners, shut off engines, roll down windows, put their hands over their mouths.

Father decides to get back in car The dog gets lose Father kicks car.

Daughter exclaims that she has to pee Mother says, ‘not now ‘ Daughter thinks this is
obvious The boy fogs window with breath, draws stick-figure man with hunched back, 
dimples, and a constitution weakened by the trial and tribulation of trips with his family in
the car.

Mother attempts to entertain family by juggling apples; they are not impressed as they have
seen this trick before Grandmother says she has to pee People in neighboring cars clap Mother puts down apples, gets out of car, does extensive bowing Is distressed by the lack
of shouts of ‘encore!’
Grandmother discusses peeing at greater length; people hearken, lift their hands to ears and
grow straining-to-listen-against-odds faces in time lapse photography Mother thinks of tap-dancing She quickly studies her shoes, remembers spare gum-backed
taps in purse, and wonders if asphalt is appropriate flooring.

Dog suddenly returns He looks about as though he has surprised himself.

Three Wise Men pass on motorcycles–several arteries increase in hardness.

Tornadoes are forecast for Tennessee; unexplainable showers of red herring occur in
neighboring states.

Information reaches the family that traffic is delayed by a passing herd of buffalo.

Three days pass.




More obviously witty banter has been exchanged while the reader was gone The car has been savaged by a graffiti artisan
People in other cars have grown jealous of the family’s store of apples and plot to steal
some The father has loosened his tie, burnt hand on radiator cap, dyed large portions of clothing
grease-smear black, fixed nothing Mother rations apples, is on the verge of saying ‘I told you so,’ repeatedly.

Boys play a game of cowboys and Indians Imaginary arrows are said to slay all women
aboard Sister expresses distress in having been killed Mother says ‘not now ‘

Grandmother is sick of apples, imagines dog roasting above open flame on spit made from
tire iron She looks at the dog The dog drools Grandmother tries to recall secret stuffing recipe
Man stands on car nearby displaying body poster which proclaims: MICROORGANISMS
ARE EVERYWHERE People read sign; several experience epiphany and shriek.

Reliable sources report that the buffalo have stopped to graze No one notices graffiti on grandmother’s head as she snores and dreams of the dog and

Several additional days pass.



The apples run low Father, who has recently read a book on the Essex disaster (footnote
1), suggests cannibalism as means of subsistence Grandmother suggests spitting dog in the rear of the car over open flame The boy wonders how grandma will get dog in mouth, and what good this new trick will do for hunger Mother suggests a fair drawing of lots to determine who will be eaten Everyone watches as
she looks for ‘lots’ Person in neighboring car has been waiting some days for just such a distraction Donning
propeller cap, he sneaks into the family’s car.

Mother hold out lots to be drawn Newest propeller capped member of the family reaches
for apple, gets hand slapped, attempts escape Mother tells kid to get back in the car.

Mother begins to think hunger is taking its toll as she doesn’t recognize her own children Lots are drawn, but mother runs out before everyone has selected; she recollects,  counts on
her fingers, counts lots, then adds a lot and shrugs Lots are drawn a second time; there is a lengthy comparison of length Mother begins to laugh Says: ‘Ha, ha, wasn’t that a funny
joke ‘ Casually tosses short straw out window.

Traffic suddenly moves several feet Father has trouble starting car; horns honk raucously
from cars behind.

Candy-gram is delivered to the car Mother accepts, signs, opens box The box is empty Candy-gram delivery guy rides away laughing maniacally The boy realizes the world is no good–even those related to candy distribution can come to
bad ends He decides it is time to strike out on his own–go live in the mountains, get a
grizzly bear to call his own, pull a thorn from an Indian’s foot to make a trusted friend for
life He searches the rear of the station wagon for something to leave a trail with in case he
wants to return All he can find is a sack of hummel statues He leaves quietly by the rear
door of the car, standing behind him: “A Country Boy,” “A Dutch Girl,” “A Blue Jay,” “A
Kitten With Ball,” “A Clown Leaning On A Lamppost,” “A First Kiss,” .

It is relayed by sources that the buffalo have set up camp A disconcerted sigh passes from
car to car with the news as traffic gives up hope Mother cuts the final apple into eight pieces and distributes One piece is left over She
quickly thrusts it in her purse.

“A Wintering Cardinal,” “Grandfather’s Tragic Bad Back,” “A Balance of Malice and Chagrin,” “Four Billygoats Gruffer,” “The Offering of the Rancid Knockwurst Sandwich,” .

Father, in a sudden dispute with grandmother over dog, steps out of car and draws line, 
dares grandmother to cross She crosses He draws another.

“A Robin With Young,” “A Greedy Child With Candied Apple Stuck in Throat,” “The Deep Sound in the Distance Whose Source No One Can Locate,” .

Grandmother crosses several lines Father continues to draw them Mother sits in car
several feet away, turned from them in disgust
The greatly feared and mythic back hoe comes between mother and father and happiness.

“St Michael Slaying a Demon,” “Priscilla With More Makeup on Than a Whore,” “Actual Footage of the 1964 World Series,” “A Priest Laughing During Confessional Because the Old Man Used the Word ‘Dingle’,” .

Grandmother, in weakness from hunger and exposure to sun, becomes disoriented, steps
over double yellow.

“That Innate Sparkle,” “Glory in a Blender Used as an Additive for Mixed Drinks,” “Destiny Taped and Stapled,” .

The petted buffalo, the shooting star, the dead grandmother.

“The Unbearable Lightness of Anorexics,” “The Chosen Few,” “What Unicyclists Think on Tuesday,” .

The unsatisfactory dissolution, or untwining of obvious threads.

“Six Ways to Utilize Leftover Potatoes Without Risking Botulism,” .

The abandoned propeller cap The door left a-jar.

“The Musketeers in a Spiteful Mood Neglect Their Sovereign Vow,” .

The mother’s guilt about apple hidden in her purse as the traffic starts to move.

“A Boy Two Hundred Yards From The Family Car and Almost Out of Hummels Watching as He is Left Behind,” .

Impromptu 4:
The Bench Sitter

if someone had asked him
he’d have choked
on the swallows
as they passed
through the sky
calling someone else’s name

Weak Day Poem

Tuesday like a Sucret’s losenge, wondering if you can really finish it Even Wednesday would be OK–
all humped-like-a-smelly-breathed-camel-in-the-middle-of-the-cal ander Wednesday But no
isolated and alone–
a great stalagtite icecycle

And I want to go to a Chinese restaurant and order the special, see it’s heart beating there through a translucent skin and tell the polite nodding waiter take it away and bring anything else, any other day of the week but the one I’ve got there with certainty of indigestion

A day
like something I’ve taken out of an old zip-lock bag that smells of mildew and other things–
so we won’t take it out for long, OK?
And right now it’s making it feel as if the air around me is getting scarcer,  and I say to myself
–hold your breath idiot, hold your breath

(if dinausaurs did that, they’d still be dead )

seeping out all around me like potasium-cyanide in water in a pail under my chair
soon I’ll have to breathe and take it in–commit to the inevitable, dip my head into the pail and inhale the seeping poison as if I’m a new greek god of the gas chamber that the gangsters never had.


a fish
is an imposter

I kill it and let it stink
in the dock of my mind
where it was nailed
so I could pull the skin off I know it writhes even
without salt in its wound
I’ve cut off the eel’s head
and even then it swims away
as the fishnet drips
like its own private storm
while the sun dries the living
and the moon walks on
the treetops
by the bay.


my first impression of THIS:
“Oh no, I don’t care for THIS;
IT is like THAT “

Yet past initial distaste of THAT,
THIS seeps into days to
take away ITS dull moments
THAT need a shoe shine
The curiosity of IT
is enchanting
as childhood seduction THAT
all grown up and THIS
weaved with complexities,
where THAT lasts
only for moments
and THIS feels whole
like IT is
“oh no, I don’t care for THIS,
only THAT” and
there IT is
cunningly gentle
seeping in .THIS into days and
THAT again through to
ITS questions

were to happen again
THIS time IT
I think
THAT I would know
as IT
is not THIS
my choice is IT
because IT satiated
and IT nourished
THIS questions,
THAT were dead many times over
“Oh, no I don’t care if THIS
is THAT “
And IT
takes on
a different perspective,
even if THIS and THAT weren’t IT

Impromptu 12:
What the Persistence of Time Can Do
(Owed to Dali)

when we emulate harem dancers
we do so
with big donughts in our teeth
and imaginary hula hoops
on our wings.


I have an ear or two of them
And a third
That listens to dread

One more sickly hears
Coughing and
Little ears, that have no patience
A big ear gets nothing accomplished Five ears on my back feel deep things, and just don’t respond

Ears sometimes colored green reflect
The sound of rainbows — all but the green
And one or two think there are only silent places
I have an ear like a boomerange tossed
Out into a field
And it comes back every time hearing the same bad word
Over and over again
ears that I stand and correct in balance
stacked like card houses
stoic till they fall in a sorry pile
I have ears that children take greedily, 
As if they were coins to put in their pockets which they lose when their mothers do the wash the same ears left always wishing they could hear a sleepy
Child dream
Ears that look like trumpets yet don’t carry a tune
Stark raving ears that I hang in trees to listen to the wind and
Howling at night Porcelin ears, that crack on a pitch
And chipped
Are never the same
There are a few ears
I would just give away because they stink
And more that follow me, scattered

Like blown leaves on the sidewalk

The ears that can’t stop
Hearing themselves
On a pedistal
And turning sound to glass feathers
That tickle lightly
When I have time to hear
I spread my ears on a blanket like a street peddler and let you choose
Because you know which one is better for you
Than I do.

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