Cream of ether, p.1
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       Cream of Ether, p.1

           Steve Tiffany
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Cream of Ether
Cream of Ether

  Steve Tiffany

  Copyright 2009 Steve Tiffany


  Cream of Ether — Poems pulled out of thin air using Icon Poet, the writing toy for human/machine collaboration


  The iguanas seem so regal

  glowing darkly in the city

  and their leisure seems illegal

  and their skin is reptile pretty

  Since emotion once meant glory

  evolution's not too shrewd

  When iguanas tell the story

  here's what matters: Sun and food


  Devotion is the hopeful relic

  held by a fellow who's feeling

  the girl he adores is so sweetly angelic

  she could actually find him appealing.


  Furthermore, said Buster Bubble

  grasping bits of psychic rubble,

  Furthermore, I'm bloody insubstantial.

  Shadowy... an amateur...

  My ethery parameters

  have faults both scientific and financial.


  There's an infant smell like roses

  when the reeds who own the water

  part for bebop baby Moses

  blowing sax to pharaoh's daughter

  from his quilt of straight papyrus

  to her broken-hearted jewels

  drifted liberation virus

  and an urge to bend the rules.


  Basement boxes deep and strong

  show no feel for right or wrong

  kept down in a distant section

  no label speeds their resurrection

  bridges run from moat to castle

  but basement boxes, what a hassle!


  A consumer arranged his career

  to avoid looking into the mirror

  but he works till infinity

  out of this shallow trinity:

  status, inertia, and fear.


  Limbo low, you steamy person

  shimmy 'neath that deadly bar

  even rascals hold their cursin'

  gather 'round the limbo star

  Next in line's a sleepy dancer

  ether draws her sullen hand

  then her knee, and now your answer:

  flesh is light in limbo land.


  It's a funeral for a donkey

  dragging traffic to a halt,

  so the cop begins to honk, he

  wants to close down the gestalt

  of emotion for a beast,

  but the peasants knew its mother

  and the angels threw a feast

  to call home their good gray brother.


  Terrific to feel you

  sleepy and close

  skinny with virtue

  and softly verbose

  secretly shrewd

  and gracefully mad

  happily nude

  and seductively bad.


  School your kids in earthly subjects

  bathe their youth in leisure style

  status girl Will Sulk For Objects

  schedule boy stays infantile


  Yonder comes the wisp of waste

  roughly riding Ivy's health

  the sharpest doom she's ever faced

  has bent her vigor down by stealth

  Her cherished looks are lately hated

  once youthful, now her skin's a gray

  balloon rambunctious time deflated

  The wisp must know no other way.


  Except for the fatal anxiety,

  there's no major flaw to sobriety

  it's not like the theory

  that one must grow weary

  of mercy, truth, kindness and piety.


  Fifteen ledges hard below me,

  thirteen rooms behind.

  I'm balanced on the railing, homey —

  all offers were declined.

  Sharp, the wind, that says to fall,

  as sober sleep the lame.

  At least I let you bet it all;

  at least we played the game.


  As a hungry token debutante

  sat down in Roscoe's restaurant,

  an unexpected tragedy began

  In the kitchen, past the vinegar,

  sailed a lobster, like a spinnaker,

  and he landed on a pizza in its pan

  Said the deb, "I'd like Italian,

  rather heavy on the scallion..."

  so the waitress — yikes! — she piled that pizza high

  And obscured the shrewd crustacean

  then she took the combination

  to the debutante she hoped to satisfy

  Could we holler truth unvarnish'd

  'bout what hides beneath the garnish,

  we would warn the hapless diner of her fate

  But the claws are set in motion

  on that creature from the ocean

  and the nose of our poor deb has got a date.


  Naomi's potato-skin chowder

  hid fingernails ground into powder

  Except that one fellow

  compared it to Jell-O,

  the compliments couldn'a been louder.


  Couch-jumper Roscoe is often at large

  whenever you roll off the sofa

  and head for your bed like a sleepy gray barge

  then he puts on a hot bossa nova

  and jumps on the cushions, so comfortably warm

  so springy he can't help but hop

  higher and higher, he's showing fine form

  till you wake up and ask him to stop.


  The vegetables felt on occasion

  an envy for pure information

  but a turnip's a hero

  while a one or a zero

  is merely a representation.


  Shop a while, Miss Crocodile

  slither through the mall

  Here's your style: a toothy smile,

  a snakeskin coverall

  We cater to the 'gator

  who shows some fashion gumption

  So up the escalator

  for conspicuous consumption.


  Little do the witches want

  a book of spells, a forest haunt

  a crow, a cat, a child to bend

  to teach the laws of reason's end.


  For expressing her love of the city

  with its image so jaded and gritty,

  the girl was rewarded —

  then immediately boarded

  at a rural school, distant and pretty.


  Behind the garden, old and pink

  and plastic, our flamingo

  so fancy fine we used to think

  back when we lived for bingo

  and bowling, too, a Cadillac,

  and gin, of course with tonic

  Hey, wait! These things are coming back

  but this time they're ironic.


  Café generation, solidly bright

  reaching for a latte in the middle of the night

  yielding to temptation, stuffing down biscotti

  the lights are on at midnight, but you're no illuminati.


  The reason the painted balloon cops

  avoided the pink pantaloon shops

  was fear that their figures

  could not stand the rigors

  of buckles as large as spittoon tops.


  Fragility's familiar rages

  rip her blackest journal pages

  throw them off the balcony

  flutter, flutter to the sea

  there her deepest fears and wishes

  bore the pants off passing fishes.


  Aroma therapists sometimes get SO verbose

  that you triple your normal aroma dose

  then all through your rooms

  waft a dozen perfumes

  and your housemates all tend to get comatose.


  The basement faces heaven and the rafters catch the ground

  there's carpet in the bathtub, and the copper's all unsound

  the knobs are by the hinges and the fire bell's on the shelf

  but nothing's quite so homey as a home you made yourself.


  Middle of the party,

  looking ragged and divine,

  Naomi's acting hearty

  holding consciousness in line.

  Faith in her odd theory

  scatters instincts to the wind

  But the commoners are weary,

  and their minds undisciplined.


  Town and country boys and women

  in the pool we catch them swimmin'

  Milky flesh and creamy faces

  golden hair and suits with laces

  riding up seductive cracks

  slipping off those rich young backs

  Close the streets for blocks around

  let boys and women run aground.


  Painted gazes offer mindless

  journeys to sophisticates

  tawdry beauty's lure is timeless

  costing only small trinkets


  Down along the ashen fields

  went lively Buster Bubble

  oily as a patch of tar

  and seriously in trouble

  For he had handed out the shoes

  that started robots hopping

  getting jobs and working late

  and yearning to go shopping


  Area Fifty-One, that darkened strip

  home to aliens' drunken prom trip

  cruising fast, then low they veered

  now they're reverse engineered.


  When the scarabs hid from cherubs,

  and the cherubim were scared of him,

  the one we call the Noodle sold his friend

  to an overreaching hermit

  by the name of Mr. Kermit,

  to go hustling used kimonos in West Bend.

  Now kimonos take cojones

  to get worn by one not born

  to that bent and western part of Indiana,

  so to lift his obligation

  Noodle's friend went on vacation

  with the hermit's brutal poodle called Diana.

  It was lurid, it was sordid,

  with the daily grooming looming

  on that swampy stretch of beach-front black lagoon.

  Though the pooch was overzealous,

  there were fruit drinks with umbrellas

  which put friend and poodle both away by noon.


  Purple kimono, what is beneath you?

  knowing Naomi, I'll bet that it's gold,

  gossamer, flesh, and a zipper with teeth to

  keep away all but the beastly and bold.


  Doctor, please, my forehead chooses

  fever over patent boozes

  drawn from inorganic taps,

  measured out in plastic caps,

  flavor dismal, stale, and tinnish...

  artificial cherry finish


  Gather some wild mushrooms, there

  my gifted youthful friend

  turn your golden gaze to where

  the fungi never end.


  Back to enchantment with the moment fairly glowing

  the day was worn like wingtips; your ambivalence was showing

  After keeping up your bargain to drag through fake devotion

  you're punching out at last, and rolling for the ocean

  Painted towns are letting go and reaching for the shore

  with copper-covered fingers that stand for nothing more

  than guides along a journey to a cooler way to be,

  your eyes on the horizon, your ankles in the sea.


  This table pale, this torso damp,

  the daily mail we got at camp

  the coldest marble known to girl

  a bashful, frozen Duke of Earl

  now holding out his sopping suit

  she's scandalized (but thinks he's cute).


  Plastic solids in the snow

  disgrace our golden bungalow

  see the judgement Hell now wishes

  robots who won't do the dishes.


  Getting shrewd, getting brutal

  making reasons to go feudal

  running mousses through your tresses

  faking separate consciousnesses

  it's terrific all the knowledge

  one picks up in business college.


  Show me the gimmick, the hairless man said,

  for acres of nothingness sit on my head

  a field of bare skin, I'm legally bald

  if your method is heat, I'm ready to scald

  if your method is cold, I'm ready to freeze

  you can generate force up to seventeen G's

  and slip in new follicles torn from the back

  of a ragged old lemur or rugged old yak

  whichever you like, my head's in your hands

  You'll bring back my youth with your elegant strands

  of filament specially made to get drawn

  through the scalp, where it falls in a beautiful lawn

  that no one can tell isn't honestly mine

  So when do we start? So where do I sign?


  Get right down to sordid beauty

  force the finger fetish forest

  do your stale rough instinct's duty

  touch the waitress thee adorest

  so what, the looking glass reveals

  you're white and opalescent

  brutal shoes with lipstick heels

  make the adolescent.


  Special fat potatoes dug,

  loosened by a brilliant bug

  powdered like a stately drug

  milkified and frozen

  Wanda's watching pay TV

  on her modern balcony

  craves a spoonful suddenly

  potato life she's chosen.


  Elbow essence, dirty, loose

  hang and bend and tip your juice

  bring down test tubes in the lab —

  catch them 'fore they hit the slab!


  Down around the shadow zoo

  where Roscoe dreams a cockatoo

  with plastic ears is needing to get eaten,

  Something cold and jaded stays

  waiting with a landlord's gaze

  to spoil your game and let you know you're beaten.


  Rock the castle and open your ears

  both the contessas have thrown back beers

hopped up on foliage like beautiful crows

  but devotion to excess is their regalest pose.


  Wedding uncertainty didn't fly past

  the hall where our service was held

  her first and my first... but only my last

  the bride wasn't into a permanent meld

  We'd be living the good revolution, we dreamt,

  avoiding bourgeois personality crisis

  hiding all week in our bed so unkempt

  Eleven years later she's praying to Isis

  And wondering aloud — on my birthday, yet — whether

  I shouldn't be earning much more at my age

  I tell you it's lovely when we get together

  except for these spasms of rage.


  Common or uncommon, like a bowl of sugar packets

  or a partial map to radiant dimensions,

  they're burdened with the truth, in their vinyl leather jackets,

  the metal girls with silvery intentions.


  Extremely most quaintest of quilted stuffed pillows

  snowy soft buds on a vase full of willows

  baskets of soaplets and everything's floral...

  I must leave this place and go somewhere immoral.


  Bathed in information and yet generating jokes,

  I knew the urban alligator had to be a hoax.

  We should have scattered breadcrumbs but we didn't follow through;

  I didn't know how deadly it would be to wait for you.

  The reptile ate the sandwiches I held out as a token

  they didn't spoil his appetite, in fact he seemed awoken

  and ready for the entrée, which was you and me, my friend

  and that's the cold hard story of the way we met our end.


  Youth and evolution, two dark thieves

  often loved by those they favor

  Breed while young, for youth soon leaves;

  his pal declares you last year's flavor.


  The telephone feels such disgrace

  as each metallic token

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