Monday, April 9, 2012

Ostriches - a poem by Joseph Silver


In a city of casinos,

You wear sunglasses to bed.

After you crash in your

Five dollar shades,

I explore our zero star room

For love notes by cokeheads.
I take a photo of you

Slouched against the headboard,

Wearing nothing but

Skimpy briefs with a cutesy pattern

That should be the flag

Of the United States of America.

We love each other,

At least for a time in this rundown

City that used to be spiffy.

I take another photo, making sure

It’s blurry so no one will know

Who you are if they find the prints.

Then nearly wake you

To laugh at infomercials

But lie beside you instead,

Watching your eyelids

Ripple behind the sepia lenses

You conked out in.

You dream about giant, petrified

Ostriches in this city by the water.

You dream of how we climbed their backs

After eating infinite buffets.

You have this dream about ostriches that

No one else understands except me,

Because we were the only ones riding them,

Wearing sunglasses even though it was night.

Happy National Poetry MonthI picked this poem specifically because it is about ostriches. Because I just saw an ostrich. At the Scipio gas station petting zoo in Scipio, Utah, a place we often stop on drives between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas (and further places south). Those of you who know my blog will recall many photos and writings about this place - a definite Byway stop. So, I have ostriches on my mind, and time in the car to blog this.

What I like about this poem, besides the fact that it is about ostriches, is that it is by a poet I've never heard of - Joseph Silver. He is not a big-name, well known poet. You won't find him on or The Writers Almanac. He is just a guy, who writes poetry, created a website to share it, and thus is following his passion. And he wrote a poem about ostriches. 

He studied and now lives in New York City. He won some Scholastic Writing Awards in 1989 and 1990. He makes a living running a motion graphics boutique. And I bet he still loves to write poems. So here is a shout out to all the struggling poets in the world. 

For more information about Joseph Silver, check out his website.

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