< previous       next >

JOEL BETTRIDGE is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the poetics program at S.U.N.Y. Buffalo. His poems have appeared in The Washington Review, Kiosk and LVNG.


ALPHABET POEMS for Jennifer

a

suppose world ends so what
__ imagine hint of kelp
on a silver big sea


b

Saw the sun
blue to blue
between gutter and Tulip stem __ web


c

and days beside -
rise __ full of night
watch winter long
quite stills __
sky run all a relic


d

see how earth curves __
over grasses till day s end


e

__ membrane of a bumblebee's
point in spectrum
turned insideout appletree


f

that it was
__
__ raven's wing,
one red leaf


g

sun's out still cold __
that's the trouble here __
can't count on single thing


h

would that were out this
instead __ taste of salt from wherever
hesitation
__ no way to though


i

unless in mesquite limb inch tip
or turn of ocean __
wave over wave
sand dollar's i


j

misplaced letter "j"


k

and Tucson __
puddles after monsoon
about 3 o'clock


l

play the blues
vividness, color of wet sand
__ inhale street tuned night
a base hurled sax going like hell


m

cycle at stop
have withstood __
minute by minute
wall
crumbles over 5 hundred years
beneath prickly pear
joints all abloom


n

Try'n make a good end
dandelion sprouts against palm __
sun down to his slumber
gone long way from heaven


o

Strange what spring seems now
turn of wrist
color of skin below pulse
edge of right middle finger
down through palm, through forearm
single gesture __
charcoal across white, it splinters
prism into 1ooo


p

And poor old Homer blind,
blind as a starfish __
had a good ear, ear for the sea-surg
when you got him going
he wouldn't shut up


q

hit'em in face w/ a pool q


r

regret tonight __
in this dingy town __
remain, shall we say, wonder,
need a buck for beer


s

sky leaks __ buckets full of crows


t

night deeps jazz rimed tune
stars stretch out as a honey pot


u

such a moon once __
puncture occasional Arkansas
out like rusted button __ __ sprawl
__ lantern bijou


v

And Brother off Africa __ fighting HIV


w

as for probably
crow leaps up
just as if it was
__ becomes crow


x

bend, ( ) Iris
around twists seashell
__ curve of her cervix


y

__ shape of red clay


z

cross section rainbow
cornea builds the sun __
see it @ molecular level
or falls apart
in one beat of hummingbird's wing
__ tumbled out of Oz