Miles David Moore


Colon-right parenthesis smiley face
appended sideways to an e-mail's end,
you carry on your nonexistent back
the weight of every writer's good  intentions.
You are the Irony Accessory--
the tacked-on laugh, the shrug, the raised  eyebrow
to show the humor in what reads on  screen
as a punch in the face. The modulating warmth
of a human voice or a human hand's
scrawl upon paper, read in warm  lamplight,
is lost in the computer's literal  glare.
You are the fall guy, the "Kick Me" sign
stuck on a sentence's butt, so when 
someone does want to kick you--
and believe me, someone will--
your changeless smile shows your good grace
in accepting what serves you right.  :)


"The Americans love Pepsi-Cola. We love death."
            --Afghan Mujahedeen commander, quoted in the
               London Daily Telegraph, October 2001

The first sip gives you pause.
Rich, mineral, like molten rubies,
the flavor carries notes of chocolate,
apples, black pepper, asparagus, tarragon--
everything that you have ever tasted.
The bouquet is of roses, smoke, mown grass,
rain on a spring morning, the skin of a  lover
soft and yielding against a down pillow.

The finish is surprisingly short.
That taste--even more surprisingly--
comes not from the lips, but up from the throat.
The man who took aim at you thinks he knows
the thing he loves, and the thing you love.
He expects brown syrup to fizz
from your inhuman veins, and your alien world
to shatter like glass, crumple like aluminum,
or melt like plastic.


He hoists ungrateful bricks up decorative ladders
too dainty for the weight.
Over millennia, his fathers and mothers
molded bricks into arabesques,
Grecian statues, free-form improvisations.
He knows the rules, those tacky globs
of mortar, but the secret of melting bricks
is something no one can teach or learn.
He looks at his hands. He looks at the bricks.
Dull red, unpliable, they look
defiantly like what they mean.

She tries to dam the stream using only her hands.
Over millennia, her fathers and mothers
solidified water between their fingers,
built palaces, cathedrals, pyramids.
Their secret can't be taught or learned.
Their rules are crows on telephone wires,
scattering at their own discord.
She could wait for winter, but ice
is slippery, dissolving at first sun.
She looks at her hands. She looks at the water
bathing her hands, the stream-bed  pebbles
in dull mosaic, the cloisonned fish
eluding her grasp. The ceaseless
water-sound and crows' caws mingle,

They toil side by side,
too busy to notice each other
till he drops a brick in the stream.
She looks up. He looks down.
His eyes trace arabesques.
Her eyes build cathedrals.
The brick bends. The water stops.
From somewhere, a faint sound mimics birdsong.

Miles David Moore
Miles David Moore is a Washington reporter for Crain Communications, Inc. He is founder and host of the Iota Poetry Reading Series in Arlington, VA, a member of the Board of Directors of The Word Works, Inc., and administrator of The Word Works Washington Prize. He is the author of three books of poetry: The Bears of Paris (The Word Works Capital Collection, 1995); Buddha Isn't Laughing (Argonne Hotel Press, 1999); and Rollercoaster (The Word Works Capital Collection, 2004). With Karren LaLonde Alenier and Hilary Tham, he co-edited Winners: A Retrospective of the Washington Prize, published in 1999 by The Word Works. Fatslug Unbound, a CD of Moore's poetry read by himself and 14 other poets, was realeased in 2000 by Minimus Productions. His review/essays on the poet John Haines have appeared in The Wilderness of Vision (Story Line Press, 1996) and A Gradual Twilight (CavanKerry Press, 2003).



Current Issue
Contributors' Notes

E. Louise Beach

Anne Becker

Brad Bisio

Jane Blue

John Bush

Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Grace Cavalieri

Norma Chapman

James Cihlar

Ellen Aronofsky Cole

Ruth Z. Deming

Martin Dickinson

Moira Egan

Ronda Eller

Martin Galvin

Bernard Jankowski

Hiram Larew

Lenny Lianne

Michael H. Lythgoe

Judith McCombs

Susan Bucci Mockler

Miles David Moore

Kathi Morrison-Taylor

Bonnie Naradzay

Barbara J. Orton

Steven Pelcman

Roger Pfingston

Jacqueline Powers

Julie Preis

Eve Rifkah

Kim Roberts

Teri Rosen

Helen Ruggieri

Karen Saunders

Karen Schubert

J.D. Smith

Dean Smith

Rose Solari

Margo Solod

Colette Thomas

Steven Trebellas

Rosemary Winslow

Kathi Wolfe

Anne Harding Woodworth

Ernie Wormwood

Katherine Young










Email this poem

Printer friendly page






Last Updated: Sep 16th, 2007 - 08:34:32

Copyright 2005 - 2006 Cook Communication.