Five Poems

1. The significance of plainspokenness

Let me quote just one passage from this remarkable memoir:

“then years later, I find the snapshot of the seven gulls pecking at
the pavement and recall our time together. Or just real thirsty on
a beach in summer as I watch her mouth part to say my name.
Scatter the birds. The omnipresent whiff of cotton candy. Jellyfish
that reluctantly decide to melt onshore. Until I want to run like sea
water or have my honey buttered on both sides. ‘And what about
that carrot your picnic,’ she remarks, with her swimsuit uncorked.
‘I’d rather we call it a rudder so we can use it on the boat,’ I reply,
already calculating the length of the limb we can crawl out on. Then
other times, my feelings might rise up like the sun to make a new
day. In the abridged version, there’s a barn where the rusted tractor
sizzles with laughter then uses the felicity that any fantasy can be
made? Our former nudes observed from an olive grove or envying
the intimate steam fandango. Either way, is not distance the final
meal of a hunger strike, or decked out like a parade float while the
tin ceiling above us doubles as a boardwalk.”

Bet you can see why the book’s on the bestseller list!


2. “Close your eyes” sonnet

Begin with a teasing dream of rain.
The fine-boned hand of an armchair.
Birdshot. Sandpaper. Language
balanced on two metal hinges. Plenty
of salt to pour on fog. A pale blouse
and a paler cleavage. Subway tokens.
Embroidered pillows. Bee’s wax that is
especially intended for candles. A
bridge with blinking girders. Two trash
cans at a curb. More sinister guardrails.
Potted palms. Club sandwiches. The
immense silence that says “chandelier.”
Darkness of a coy bay. Sensible shoes
with saintlike patience. Pigments that
make up one hue. Toilets that clean
themselves. Or maybe just the choice,
the proper moment and means of dying.


3. I wish & wish & wish

Wish for something, you say. So I pull out my shortlist:

-A carefree day barefoot in the backyard.
-Enough duck quacking to slice through.
-A vase of lilies in all their tubercular splendor.
-Jokes & curses that both end innocently.
-A feather duster to tidy-up a plowed field.
-Cans that can be used as makeshift musical devices.
-A sea skilled at massaging my horizon.
-Wind that can lay down its blade on the beach.
-And of course, a freakish early spring.


4. Entry-level lock pick

Everybody queues up to avoid the aerial collision. I pretend I’m a dead
skull ember. The girl in front of me acts like silver buried in a toe. The
lines moves slow enough to allow us time to appraise each other’s
probate property or inebriated is the aurora from the gas can fumes or
a neon-lit sign denounces the funeral home. “I think the future will always
be just a shoulder without the promise of an arm”, she confides, as one
renegade zipper hip boot decides to go solo. “Yeah, and the newspaper
ink will always stain my hands for weeks after reading the obituaries,” I
reply, just about convinced that the phoned-in threat to bomb the school
is in lieu of the dreaded statewide achievement test, which spray paints
its name on the overpass and then is sent to a boot camp where it cuts out
the cutest little handmade snowflakes from construction paper.


5. Loose buoy barbed wire interred shore

Now here’s where I need your feedback too, Herr reader, insect
eater, salt licker, and overall mediocre miniature-golfer. I want
your opinion on the latest video of the ayatollah hammock to
surface in unincorporated bad songs from the eighties. So, does
the slow boat to Berlin coil on a rainbow peel or is the inscribed
aviary just an amalgamate ceiling fan eloping with an unidentified
stop watch that is known to be a borderline accidental deer-killer.

You think so? Funny, that’s exactly what I thought too!

After spending almost a decade working as a freelance photographer in Europe, Maurice Oliver returned to America in 1990. Then in 1995, he made a lifelong dream reality by traveling around the world for eight months, recording his experiences in a journal instead of taking pictures. And so began his desire to be a poet. His poetry has appeared in The Potomac Journal, Circle Magazine, Bullfight Review, The MAG, Tryst3 Journal, Pebble Lake Review, Eye-Shot, The Surface, Wicked Alice, Word Riot, Taj Mahal Review (India), Stride Magazine (UK), Dandelion Magazine (Canada), Retort Magazine (Australia), and online at,,,,, (UK), (India), and (Germany). He currently lives in Portland, Oregon USA where he is a private tutor. His poetry blogsite can be visited at: