archives fall 2008



Anecdote of a Goat

There is one with slackened tie.
Beside him an old paper and a black umbrella.

He is dreaming of his lost love:

A goat with no horns, hooves, and hide.
With the voice of a saddened woman
Her head buried in the wet corners of her blouse.

She is dreaming of a man with horns, hooves, and hides.
Beside him an old paper and an umbrella.

His neck-tie slackened, he too is lost in a dream.

One he’ll soon forget: of a man dreaming himself
Loving a goat desperate for a woman dreaming the man.


Ballad of the Drunk

I fell in love with a tree once. Swaying she
Giggled as I touched her,
Pulled down her branches and
Wiped sweat from her brow.

My! She was bleached white
With purple ears and burgundy eyes.

A fantastic tree.
Always naked. Unvined.
Gloriously transparent
In the wind’s white arm.

Oh! To hear her laugh . . .

See how she stands:
Robeless among the grass:

. . . Just to be naked beside her.
To lay hold and dance beside her.

(No, I haven’t had too much to drink.
No man can ever have too much to drink.)
. . . Just to give her from this gourd
And lead her past the shadows at my door.


Listening to Stones
With Michelangelo

It is the rock itself that calls.
Its non-voice beckoning at first,

Then echoing so loudly
Your soul, silenced from solitude

And restless for communion,
Reaches for its forehead

And traces its quiet fingers
Across the pimpled eye brows,

The misshapen, slightly raised, nose,
The strong, dented, jaw-line.

But your restless soul won’t stop there.
It’ll invite the stone into the high

Arching bones of your chest,
Where it resides alone, and excited

It will talk a long time about the Bible
And Greek Mythology:

How Apollo should still be hugging
His beloved tree, Daphne.

How Homer got it wrong,
Polyphemus should be buds with sirens.

How David should also be crucified
And Moses stoned to death:

Only after the stone begins to yawn
Does it offer tea laced with gin.

But the stone falls asleep after the first sip,
Starts snoring, and dreaming itself 

As a one-eyed woman, humming
And bathing nude beside a river.


Rilke’s Last Poem

I have become a mirror.

That outside of me is reflected
Fully within. Then, rearranged.

Apples ripened by the sun’s light,
Oranges asleep beside the moon,
Guavas whitened among the clouds,

Are here, within my heart.
But the reflections shift and dance.

Clouds seep out of guavas.

Drunk from the sun, apples
Fling their green and red
Dresses to the ground.

And, peeling an orange,
I untie from the moon
A bright yellow scarf.  


Abayomi Animashaun’s poems have appeared in several journals. He is the recipient of the 2008 Hudson Prize. His volume of verse The Giving of Pears is forthcoming through Black Lawrence Press.