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R.E. Chamberlain

For two years, R.E. Chamberlain and I met twice a month in a Rocky Mountain Fictions Writers critique group to work on our novels in progress.  He introduced me to the concept of cyberpunk and often kept me at the edge of my chair with the hurricane-effect developments in his ambitious science fiction novel.  Much of his prose has the lyrical and rhythmic quality of poetry, so that it came as no great surprise to me that he is also a poet.  

  

 

 

 

NIGHT SKIN
                       
For Sylvia Plath 

Put on your night skin
and dance into moonlight
through the arms of trees
and over rooftops.

Drape your night body
with the moonís hair,
rise on wings of mist
and settle soft as cobwebs
onto grass.

The moonís hair sprouts wild,
carries your body like night clouds
clothed in mist and cobwebs
across an amethyst sky.

Watch the world tumble toward light,
roll up the sky in your night skin
and bind your hair with cobwebs
until the moon again calls the trees to dance
and kisses the grass awake.

 

 

 

FIRE ON THE WATER

                                Stars march
                                in crooked ranks
                                on dark waters
                                while candles
                                in paper boats
                                circumnavigate
                                a pond.

Suns rise
between our hands,
float like dandelions
or drift
dead as stone
blown like ash
on dry winds.

Born from the belly
of innocence,
who will mourn
the absence of
multitudes?

 

 

         RING OF BONE
        for Lew Welch

                                        And this , too,
                                        a ring of bone
                                        the tolling sky
                                        flows through:

While reading poems
about someplace
Iíve been,
far off,

outside my window
trees begin
to nibble
the moon.

 

 

                     BLACK & WHITE BUT RED ALL OVER

                        A pink rose petal burrowed in snow,
                        a wilted leaf?
                        No, more like scraps of paper.
                        Or maybe not so much.

A blush rose along a pale neck,
jilted grief, bottled
in the hush of wooden pallets,
posing.

Nearby, a pink bicycle wrote its passage
in grounded sleet
to be lost in its own gust,
and peddled on,
riderless.

 

 

 

                              DEALING FROM THE TOP

                                He has disarmed me,
                                this man
                                without hands.
                                He cuts
                                the cards with his
                                teeth, deals
                                with his
                                tongue.

What luck!
The cards deal no grief;
no winner,
buta draw of
hope (though
toothmarks mar my
strongest suit).

My shuffle.
I let him cut,
dazzled by his
magnificent canines.
One-eyed jack
is king and
everything
is wild.

I deal them straight.
No hearts, no diamonds,
but look:
Iíve won your
housekeys, Mister C,
you old
three-headed
dog, you!