Christopher T. Keaveney teaches Japanese language and East Asian culture at Linfield College in Oregon and is the author of four books about Japanese culture and East Asian cultural relations. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Columbia Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Minetta Review, Stolen Island, Faultline, Wilderness House Literary Review, and elsewhere, and he is the author of the collection Your Eureka not Mined (Broadstone Books, 2017).
DYLAN THOMAS TIPSY
Hardwired for the tailspin,
I submit to yet another tour of the States
because the bills
don't pay themselves,
of Yank indignation
than the homerun trot,
sluiced to a wince,
what the critics back home
the preexisting condition.
Stymied by a drunken ruckus
I take my nightly constitutional
down Canal instead,
virtually renewing old acquaintances
in the stairwell,
as cozy as the whammy bar.
This is where art steps in. Lovely Rita,
you'd know her if you saw
her and I'm not kidding,
the provocation of the uncovered ankle.
The girl who knew stasis when stasis
was the only game in town,
too damn serious for the overcoat
and for the buckled shoes which present
an entirely different set of problems
in the bathroom stall,
the arc of the angel mired
in the belly flop.
where trouble always finds me
another would-be approaches me
before the last call
to bum a cigarette.
I write my number
on his girlfriend’s palm,
too eagerly he quotes lines from poems of mine
written when I was a twenty-something,
now that's what I call
lilies for the gilding
and the pronounced glottal stop
that can only be understood
parsed half to death
as the necessary predisposition
for an even higher calling.
ANOTHER IN A LONG LINE OF DOLEFUL DAYS