Poem-A-Day: D E Zuccone

Tonight we find another Mutabilis Press poet, D E Zuccone. His poem feels as surreal and vivid as an episode of The Magicians watched out of order or a psychedelic painting erring in the time of the Dutch Masters or a day spent watching people on Zoom and listening to Agent Orange on the radio. All of those things make an individual sort of sense, but put them together and you’re not sure what day it is.

 

Megabus Ode

Let’s begin by refusing to write rumble, slowly lumbering,
staggering on as if a bus is a fairy tale monster. My canvas
carry-on is designed to pack blank metaphors. See, a turquoise
shirt stretched too taut over a pale stomach. A parking lot
with a contrived house, barely big enough for some lucky dog
to get to fall sleep under a tent construed from an abandoned
stroller top and plastic drop cloths, all tied to a stolen Kroger cart.
.
We know, we know, but we don’t want to see. Three doors open
at once. MEGABUS, bus of buses, a word cobbled of half-words.
One hundred-fifteen numbered seats. I have reserved 5A directly
above the driver. Above me my personal shade for vision’s rest,
or I can choose to blink and squint into the interstate of a western
sunset. So many cars hurt me to keep in mind each one is driven,
by another tired soul just as lost as mine, not a caduceus writhing
over concrete, or a crimson river weeping memory, not five days
of a washing week without even an apology to take home. I have
a paper bag of tea cakes on my lap riding and 114 sporadic corpses
coughing and mumbling behind me—the single direction I can’t see.
.
Fleeting past polo stables, an empty field mowed, rolled in evening
gold—the way the rich imagine they would make the world if we would
sell it to them. The Mason Jar and Spec’s Liquor Warehouse parking
lots crowd as the nearby office garage barriers rise and drop. Friday
turns violet, Megabus and I pass a used Cadillac lot, Teacher Heaven,
Earthman Funeral Home, its windows generously dark to our speeding
invisibility. The passenger beside me pulls off a gray cotton sweater.
On his shoulder he has tattooed a hooded Chartreuse devil proffering
a red noose or a rose from a swirling of an Oriental cloud. A kettle of
vultures drift above The First Baptist sign The Price of Forgiveness
Let’s end by refusing to declare anything like “I’m here.” or “I arrive.”
.
***

Go to this month’s first Poem-A-Day to learn how to participate in a game as part of this year’s series. You can have just a little involvement or go all the way and write a cento. I hope you’ll join in!

***

D E Zuccone has published poems in Borderlands, Water Stone, International Review of Poetry, Southern Indiana Review, Schuylkill Review, Hurricane Review, Big River, Apalachee Review, Deep Water Literary Review, and Garden Box. His work has been in anthologies of Round Top, Taos Artists, Words & Art, and Big Poetry Review. He maintains a sporadic blog of essays and reviews at DomZuccone.WordPress.com. He has been a featured reader in Houston, Taos, Los Angeles, as well as a frequent, grateful guest of Archway Gallery. He is a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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