Poetry by Richard Kovac

Milladore, Wisconsin

Some call it "The Dairy State",
some call it "The Tavern State".
The name, "Milladore" was picked
from a book someone was reading
more than a hundred years ago.
Otherwise there'd be nothing
to name it after
except the surrounding Herefords,
the four cozy taverns,
the grocery store,
the small post office,
an off-the-beaten-track Ford dealer,
and two hundred fifty people
of no notable estate
and great Aryan beauty.
We lived among them for two years,
mingling, but going our own way.
Blink and you pass it.
Next down the road
is Blenker.
Also quick rites of passage.
Coming from New York City
I wondered, "Where did they hide
the Jews and Puerto Ricans??"

That My Days Are Prose
In your absence
I pose as poetry,
but live as prose,
able to deaden
the 1iving rose.

At 1ast you wrote, "Inspiration won't come."
Alas, inspiration passed.
My 1ater years are harassed
by insurance premiums
and prostate biopsies.
Was hope, back then, insane?
Without you
I sha1l enter into heaven
(if I do)

Social Isolate
Perched on his Crag
he eyes the world
and, lo!
it is a worm
not of his whim.

The cat come
on little fog feet.
She sits looking
over the trash cans
with a silent hunch,
and finds
a small fish
near the quay.
She reads Sandburg.

In Xanadu with Amelia
The midd1e-class erased
our best graffiti
a dozen years ago and
examined our urine
It contained a bitter
tincture 1ike iodine.
The older world is defunct,
and the pinpoint but spreading
stars are constellated
of small white disease mo1ds
in the deciduous leaves
of it. Or else it may be
a precipitate in the urine.

This corner near Myrtle
is where Ame1ia gave her
fire sermon
before catching the bus
to Benares.
Her truth is no longer acned
and greasy with the anointing
of her wimpled youth.
There are small smudges
of charcoal smear marks
in the wrinkles of her
dead smile.
The o1der intensely-light
universe that had been
has another funeral
in fires in rusted trashcans
in the ghetto neighborhood
amidst cavorting winoes.
This used to be Brooklyn.

Nearby, Kublai Kan is
fat and laughing, and the
juices of burning fallen stars
are like hot heroin jismed
into ruptured veins
which have know such truth
The map of the subway, and
the map of human arteries
and carotids, and the map of
sad wrinkles in Amelia's face
and the deadness of her blue eyes
are all one Being
which had been Brooklyn
and she was Amelia.
This world is the funeral
of the world that was.
It is a letting-down detumescence.
The tomb-incense.
Meanwhile the prostitute
pulls down the curtain
in the window of the
nickel brothel named "Nirvana",
and I say to Amelia,
"Should we hold hands?"
But she answers, "Not really.
What would be the point?"

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