11 September 2007

Featured Poet: Lea Graham

Psyche & Eros, After Closing

& beyond Keno flash
& bounce, urine whiff from the johns & shit-
talk. Beyond the vacant barstools, neon

Michelob drained of color, Orbison
silenced, then the boys upstairs in booze,
chess, the blue light of late-night screens; 290
from windows, its soft humming possibility;
above Millbury Street, the Square itself
quiet, still Tony’s lit & cop cars before
lamplight—Worcester-- this city of work itself
idle, in deep sleep or at some edge

:Comes to her
where dark is tension
of bitter & sweet,
a spell wrought from out,
hooded lids, bitten
lip, feels his way, edge
then curve, as fingered
groove, then string. Or her
journey to hell &
back. By heavenly
origin. What they
don’t say. But –O
when he pulls her
hair. Some arch. And then.

From “9 Days & 1 Night at the Vernon”


I write a poem about eating eggs with you.
One month passes and you tell me
you hate eggs--

even scrambled.

A woman comes in who loves the word gorgeous.
She says, "gorgeous blonds,"and "We three
are gorgeous,"

& "This is a gorgeous day."

She has lost a son, a house, land in County Cork.
She pisses herself standing up.
I forgive

your dislike of eggs,

recall your arms, fingers poised, before “Sweet Thing”
& the Ship Room’s golden lights, your
perfect pitch:

gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous


There is a man who plays
Rachmaninov on the untuned
piano. Otherwise, he howls
at noon.

Allie & I scale
fences & pick out crack whores
from the rooftop. Brianna, in
a mu-mu, throws down a 40

We drink. Watch
cars lattitude night and the lights
of this square blink on & off
& on at the turn of
a head


Hibiscus inked, blooms
her lats & she lifts
a dress to the room
as a Catholic
boy, filthy with yearning,
pulls her to him, some
great lover-- & this

barroom a terrace over

the Adriatic, below
pine trees mark paths for old men
& bicycles, purposive
on their way into a future—

& the ships at horizon’s lip bound for Cyprus


The two large ladies at the bar
ask Pete what he's packing. He
tells them to estimate his height
by his shoe size & count his Jewish
heritage. They ask him what he
would do if he were with them--
as old as his mother--fucking

his brains out?

He says: I'd call
my girlfriend, tell her I'm sorry.