A few early poems by Glenn Lyvers
Shadow in the Garden
She was an incidental earth mother
born of lust like those be-
fore her. Though the passion faded,
the garden erupted anyway.
Things abandoned will grow
in lackluster secret ways,
absent the missing gardener—
day by day, always growing. A sin
for the crops—to be left alone
to grow or wither, up to them.
And when they do grow, gorgeous,
the gardener brags to everyone
who will listen. To such rhetoric
people smile and never question that
they never saw the gardener, garden—
guarding against anything. A lie,
and one told so often
that one comes to believe
the lies of the great gardener
standing amongst the gorgeous,
like a shadow.
They said there would be flying cars
today. The year 2000 would be complete-
ly different. Nobody would walk anywhere,
and we would eat food pellets instead of steak.
I remember it, the promise of the year 2000,
and those people who said it
are dead now. They were complaining
that they would never see it, be
amazing. We would just think of something,
POOF! We would all go to outer space
for lunch on the moon. Our cars would go
underwater, on the water and in the air and hover
in our driveways. There would be no killing,
every possible wound or disease would be gone—
patched up instantly.
People could not die in the year 2000. They went
to the grave thinking that.
There was something in how she stood, staring
at herself in the mirror. A German engineer,
admiring the sleek lines, perfectly painted,
as fast as it looks.
I remembered our life, how her fleeting
whims came before my most basal needs,
gorging on life, while I starved, half mad,
a mirage-grasping fool.
Looking beyond her trophy, for an instant,
pleased I was looking too, her smile came
as a crust of bread to a dying man,
sickened by food.
She knew so little of me.
She did not discern my love-drained eyes,
or the trembling of my clenched hands,
I resolved to leave her shining reflection,
and the idea that I might take one crumb
by my own volition would light the cold fire,
but I did, spitefully loot.
My eyes searched the treasured-hearth,
passing over diamonds, gold and spender,
to what glittered most. I took the mirror,
and walked out the door.
I yearn for the friendlier, yellow windows of my youth – hidden
now behind insulated shrouds. My new window displays
a neutral faith – like Sunday’s empty mailboxes.
My fingers grasp the rubbery umbilical, pressing buttons
in contractions, pushing my head through the tender window
in the radiant, numbing, mindless-portal, …away.
Click, Click, Click…
Network puppeteers, my melancholy masters – feeding my head…
Viagra for Dave, with erect whims wearing latex skin – once dead.
Weather reports thunder while death wanders into our schools.
Bernie Mac and Phil Hartman roll over again – you fools.
Diets drip from the glass with caloric retreats.
“Saving souls for donations” – God’s in the receipts.
Click, Click, Click…
In my sweet absence, time slips into the prodigious abyss, with
commercial breaks for bloody news flashes of car crashes;
like reddish wormy-prose, rhyming into my mind.
I have a world in my window, like a value meal number two,
until I close my wooden eyes, wishing to never leave
that place, and whispering in restless-sleep, …escape.
November had feet,
And cold fire-despair.
Dogs lost—being Chinese
And aroused by strange breath,
In the black and white streets
of midtown Manhattan.
Locomotives with imperceptible
rhythm making way through
Corners and short cuts
And long cuts, and le~e~ry-cuts.
The mottled noises of cold-dead
Pads sciff and scuttle to