John FitzGerald ( USA)
John FitzGerald is a poet, writer, editor, and attorney for the disabled in Los Angeles. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland, he attended the University of West Los Angeles School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review.
He is the author of four books, more recently Favorite Bedtime Stories (Salmon Poetry, 2014), Finalist for the Julie Suk Book Award, and The Mind (Salmon Poetry, 2011) semifinalist for the Alice James Book Award.
Other works include Primate, a novel & screenplay, and the non-fiction For All I Know.
He has contributed to many anthologies, notably The Plume Anthology of Poetry 5 (2017), Even the Daybreak: 35 Years of Salmon Poetry (2016), Human and Inhuman Monstrous Poems (2015), Rubicon: Words and Art inspired by Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis (2015), From the Four-Chambered Heart: In Tribute to Anais Nin (2013), Dogs Singing: A Tribute Anthology (2011), and Poetry: Reading it, Writing it, Publishing it (2009).
Other publications include The Warwick Review, World Literature Today, The Taos Journal of Poetry and Art, December Magazine, From the Fishouse, Mad Hatters’ Review, Barnwood Mag, and The American Journal of Poetry.
Too high except for birds to reach,
I act like a tune in attempts to confuse them.
Problems look smaller, amid the leaves.
I might give up this madness to spite me.
Pay no attention, little birds,
I’m just another whistle among singers.
No need to poke out my eyes and devour my seed.
I’ll not consider your parts, as if quartered.
I still see myself in you, flying.
Calls don’t sound blue from up here, so much.
Such wingspans are common in my mind,
lines and spaces leave quite a lot to get away with.
I’d just as soon revere the nest in all its emptiness,
than peer through a window into some dark hope,
and have myself known as wind’s dreamer.
For in life, we stay wild when we can’t believe.
There’s so much more I’d like to conceal—
how I harden like ice, just to melt and flow free,
and feel sorry for this primitive truth.
God, give it to me! And oh yes, God, I am falling.
By two I’m expecting to end the night hammered.
I already hate tomorrow, until dark again.
I just keep going back to, damn, where I love it,
where there’s one thought to go till the hand meets the head.
Lines Leading Nowhere
Do I seem down, my resurrected?
I’m unintentionally lost in this imagined likelihood of light.
Remember, I’m here to punish the dream, you, to honor the lie,
not to kid every whim ever known through the ages.
How I’ve longed to be mystical being like you were,
lacking your shinier halves of faces,
with every stinking rule bent by legitimate replacements.
Preoccupations can’t be understated.
There appear to be ends we need to be out there,
to maintain stand-by philosophies, but then,
when’s the last time you asked a poet anything?
Unwritten law, we wonder into midnight, scribbling.
There are things that I think when I see what I see,
adjusting goals to conform to the line.
You would think such a thing must be true, but it isn’t,
a mosquito disguised as madness enters the blind.
There are different ways of being an animal.
Now I stare into the stew, back at the eyes of a potato,
whisper to the ears of corn, get into the head of lettuce,
break the heart of an artichoke.
Cooling favors open space,
burning for no other purpose than heat.
Prepared to pay our way in smoke,
the world is still that way today.
The first clock bears the arms of Venus de Milo,
but she makes her point much better without them.
It just gets me more ticked off as I talk.
The so-called quotation marks get a dose of their own medicine.
What of the turning aside? Meteoric
giants, in the past, debated the relevance of relevance.
There was no point, they determined,
and no speaker ever content with his thoughts.
I like theme songs that get to the point.
Gilligan’s Island told a tale.
I don’t want to hear a tale.
You’re stranded, that’s that.
The Brady Bunch had a story.
I don’t care about a story.
The Flintstones from Bedrock,
who gives a damn?
But “meet George Jetson” is concise.
“His boy Elroy.” Of course, what else?
“Daughter Judy” is efficiency at its finest.
“Jane his wife” and the song is over.
It’s as good as it gets in eleven words.
You sing your songs and I’ll sing mine.
If silence was a word, I’d use it.
And it would still be here when I finished.