Les Wicks has toured widely and seen publication in over 350 different magazines, anthologies & newspapers across 29 countries in 15 languages. His 14th book of poetry is Belief (Flying Islands, 2019).
This prophet is still waiting.
I have smitten the whores
& the beasts who frequent them.
Despite the neglect of my temples
still you feed me narcotics.
I am drowning in sugar.
You think you are alive.
I have torn your skulls.
these chastened cups will be burnt
in fires tended by lazy acolytes.
I’m just not sure where they are anymore.
All the doors to my sanctum are locked.
Perhaps my followers crowd the forum
dressed in their soiled white.
I’m sure they still hunger
for the lotion of my notions.
Down by the dumpsters
a devil spoke my name he
had a court order.
Ears, ears & Glory
I flew towards the light
though all my guts were stolen
& the howls of golden ambulances
inscribed the night with my verses.
Having licked tears from every eye
upon my bed of trouble
I have become the Sea
though the salt cannot bother me.
Become seasoning my season
has crusted to reason.
The weight of these truths,
I cannot stand up.
You shall follow me again.
The Edge of Blue
I have heard the water’s everywhere, when
does it finish? Our arts peel, fade. Money’s disappearing
my knees are a wasteland
love is a perilous adventure &
of course we’re all dying.
Salt subsumes rivers, the aquifers are gasping
even as sea levels rise in the Pacific.
It appears our blue world is sopping.
Bodies are made of this
plus a bit of carbon.
Life is all about pumps, the bass line.
Summer wakes up, it is a poem written with sweat.
Dan was with us just last month, his raptor intellect
great futures while
bailing out his lungs.
We cried a little as the crematorium curtains closed.
Carlyn’s eyes rise to the sea eagle called Endurance with
the library of airmaps on its wings.
With a butcher’s inner peace
this prodigious raptor pauses, we are
natural & delicious. You could say this avian
is a good omen
if thought of no ending terrifies.
It too is a prisoner of a greater gyre
but the atmosphere forgives almost anything.
This feathered death has always been going places
far above the arguments of our water.
There was so much music about,
I couldn’t get your songs, my own
were a chaos. We carefully
didn’t throw in everything.
You were the first woman to live with me
(though it was initially in a tent).
We had no money & my health was a mess.
One day on acid three crows landed on my belly.
Did I know you? Who was I?
There was a hope that
hippie Marxists would never go out of fashion.
We had a selfish & passive pacifism, were just so
afraid there was a god
as we meditated in a bored fervour.
I think there were some solutions
but so many helpless questions.
In a cloud of art school
you cried occasionally.
The dole-roses fluttered towards our mattress
on the scrounged milk crates base.
We were the ideal couple of ideas
in a time when nothing made sense (1976).
The next year only got worse,
kept it so polite
as we splintered.
I am becoming bored
with my pedestrian psychiatric disorders.
They are intellectual bunions,
a mild arthritis of the mind
& common as life.
A dollar-store desperado
most of my circumstances
are comfortable & tedious,
approaching bleak borders of normality.
I will change nothing
though I dream of the greater madnesses…
the hollow bones of a bird,
to be aflight,
those fledged edges of it all
but at the doorways of a fall.
Love can do it to you
loneliness too. In that signature hat
it’s entropy that’s the deep enemy.
There’s stories that the greatest art
awaits us at the bottom.
Reports come in that extraordinary exists.
It’s coded in the prayers that
are burnt in the cowled days of winter.
My friend suggested that we are both
the future & promise of our species.
But she’s just nuts.
The catalogues of extremity:
like the wino outside the GPO every day at 9
screaming for his important correspondence.
There’s the killers
more often imagined than real, reading
“Art of the Flense” while children are wrapped.
Some whisk their ideas,
conspiracies are baking in the oven.
Others change identities like they’re wearing
a cloak of living lizards.
My evil twin is smirking in the corner.
Blah blah he’s heard it all before.