Poetry by Richard Kovac

The Poet's Guild
They wanted vivid imagery
like iodine tincture
on skin
but I resisted
and expounded abstractions.
Just then I was bounced out
of the poet's guild.
"He wants to preach,
not show off the peach,
and polemic has to go.
How can he be so addled
and slow?"
Now the needle pierces
the vein
after the iodine tincture
is smeared on,
and blood gushes out
of vein.
These abstractions
my friend,
after all
are written in
red, red blood.

But I have nothing
tattooed on my skin.

Francesco Bernadone
It is as a poet
that I know and greet you
under your proper name -
you who gave Assisi fame.
Your poem was about poverty
and you called her Donna.
Your love for Christ
made your skin raw
with marks of stigmata.
When you embraced the leper,
you embraced me in my falleness,
and with you I saw Gethsemane.
You sang a hymn of creation
and called fire "my brother"
and water "my sister".
I wonder if you are horrified
at the corruption of the clergy
and the middle-classing
of the churches,
wherever you are now.
But I do not need to wonder
where you are - at Jesus side
in our midst still suffering.
When shall I pray for you?

The Breakup
She was like
a dank dark dungeon
until I shone
my flashlight
into her being.
Now she is
one of the illuminati
and runs around.

The Pragmatic Test
The pragmatic test
is the cash value
of a thing.
We are not things.
We are poems.
There is no pragmatic
test for us.

Homage to Archimedes
"Give me
a Jesus
and I'll
move the earth,"
said God.
Jesus is the lever.

Late Autumn Wisconsin
The testament
of naked, tangled
after the leaves
and crinkle
under feet
make a twisted
tombstone, already,
for winter snow.
Eryn moves swiftly.

The Tree, Still Green
There is a tree
in my heart
which has its own
when it is
But beware
the naked exiled
of winter.

A gentle touch
on the shoulder
can move
a boulder

The Luddite Manifesto
When the sterile
washing machine
and dryer
replaced the scrubboard
and the clothsline,
the suds and wind
heaved a deep sigh of sadness.

Am I a Luddite?
Only when
I think I can
be replaced
by a machine
like the scrubboard
and the mind.

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