Crispin and Cricket

by Joseph Carcel

Crispin is bugged,
has a cricket living in his ear.
It is like any other cricket except its shape
is like a miniature woman.
She whispers to Crispin
with the friction of her thighs.
At night, she drops
to snuggle inside
the womb of his belly button
or in his pubic hair.
She whispers with her thighs all night.
By morning, Crispin is filled
with new poems,
but doesn't need them.

Funambulist Seduction

What better way to seduce a funambulist
than to offer her
a cocoon big as your heart
before she falls,

before her partner throws the safety rope
she'll catch like snake between her thighs, and long
before you realize that her falling
is the act.

So do not wait!
Crawl up her rope while she's midair,
and offer it, the one you took
your life to form, as if it were your pure green rose.

If you dally till she shimmies down, too late.
By then the drunks from Jocko's bar with ready drool
will buy the drinks and compliment
her smooth tan limbs.

She'll blush to signal that she's ordinary.
"I'm just an ordinary girl," she'll lilt
as if singing a refrain. She'll shrug,
hold her fingers cupped according to her lessons,

until she starts collecting,
like a church's usher, offerings,
cocoons both green and ripe,
to cradle in the friction of her hands.

Fourth of July Farewell

It's been awhile since
I've written a poem about you,
you bitch, and I am
not about to start one now.
Each of those poems
has been a fuse
you've ignited,
sparkling, glowing,
warning -- don't

touch or you'll burn --
but leading
to no explosion,
only my own words.

You are a dud.
Your gaudy packaging
of painted stars
never held anything
that burst or flared.
Yet you've made me

your pinwheel, propelled
by my own fire,
spinning in my own circles
burning my flesh into scar.

©2002 by Joseph Carcel

Joseph Carcel is an attorney residing in New York. His work has most recently appeared in Dallhousie Review. The winner of several IBPC prizes, he is currently working on a libretto for an opera about the boxer Sonny Liston. He is also finishing a chapbook called A Theory in the Bone. When not writing poetry or practicing law, he enjoys rockclimbing and reading remaindered college texts. "You'd be surprised what you can learn for a buck," he says.

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