Current Issue Details

Buy Current Issue

Columns > John Zinkand - Improvise

Published: 2008/08/22
by John Zinkand

Poetry Time Once Again


Sex burning in my loins.
Loins burning on the grill.
Grill burning a piece of coal.
Coal burning long dead flesh.
Flesh burning on a cross.
Cross burning in rural Alabama.
Alabama burning during the Civil War.
Civil War burning a hole in the nation.
The nation burning with controversies.
Controversies burning with details.
Details burning with color and feeling.
Color and feeling burning with Fall.
Fall burning for Winter.
Winter burning for Spring.
Spring burning for Summer.
Summer burning down trees.
Trees burning until death.
Death burning for life.
Life burning for couples.
Couples burning for sex.
Sex burning in my loins.

Circus of Nightmares

The clown rides down
From the tightwire rope
On his red and yellow bicycle
Engulfed in flames
As he screams maniacally
With a gleam in his eye
And a sharp pointed teeth in his mouth.
The lion in the cage
Stands up on his hind legs
Sick of the chair in his face
And eats the lion tamer
And the children scream and run
As he pounces around under the bigtop,
Snacking randomly.
And the elephants rear up
And knock off the cumbersome saddles
That chafe their stately backs.
Ramming the tent posts
And then squashing the ringleader
With their mighty feet.
They run to the peanuts
And gorge until their bellies are full.
As the canopy falls slowly
And the people are trapped inside,
The animals are entertained
By the evil clowns,
And all the chaos,
And watching the people
Run, scream, and hide
Like trained seals.


Grumbling and complaining,
A sack with a voice.
Wallowing like a whale
Stuck on a sandy shelf,
Spewing salty air before it dies.
Uncomfortable murmurs
Chide and deride from below
Like a chorus of dwarfed superiors
Urging self-improvement
Or a team meeting.
Pleading and yearning
For something worthwhile.
Like a tiny, red-faced baby,
Wailing away to escape the scented
Despair of dirty diapers.
Engulfing and consuming,
Like the hunger that swells
Inside of an overweight American
After eating more food yesterday
Than some will see in a month.

Box of Light

Air-balloon head slowly drifts forward then backwards,
A dandelion in the invisible breeze-
Sausage links are mashed on a chubby little palm like clay,
And envelopes of sweet, fresh-smelling flesh
Roll up into the small white vessel.
Container of light,
Possible wisdom,
Keeper of freshness.
Small and curious, beams of light shine from the new countenance.
As delicate and pink as nectarine skin-
A trickle of shiny dew skitters out
From between a pair of trembling lips. The babbling brook flows in laughs and chortles, gurgles and bubbles.
A hawk peers down from his perch of the moment.
But whether or not the roly-poly hope is seen
Depends on where the bird sits.


A snapshot image inside a picture
Photograph of something new.
Pithy fruits bursting with color-
A rich, robust, and hearty stew.
See-sawing its way down to the floor,
This infinitely deep inconsequential scrap of paper
Holds more than most minds,
Intrigues them more than a mighty skyscraper.
Is it misplaced fate or destinys whim?
The breath of Godhead or just the wind?
Somersault assaults of light and color,
While heaps of trash are tossed in the bin.
It holds more or less for you or me,
And the darkened mine sparkles with jewels.
Experienced miner knows where to look,
Knows where to pick, when to use his tools.
Plucking value from a sea of blackness,
Finding meaning in black and white dots.
Risking all of that delicious peace of mind
By explaining whats seen in some snapshots.

Show 0 Comments