Friday, April 8, 2011

Patrick Keller - Four Poems

Preparations (1)

I mix my own
at least the ones I use on my patients
I pay for the ones I use on myself
and then
a slow slide down the rabbit hole
snake sneakin' hombre
on the other side of the smoke
on the other side of the mirror
on the other side of the night
I become the true ghost of myself
the smoke shadow
the phantom reflection
and I haunt this wasteland
of calabooses
and saloons

Lunger (1)

my name is branded
into the hide of time
liquor wild I am
owned by no man
nor Cyprian queen
my loyalty
is to the night
as black as a raven's eye

Double Your Money

an old timer once asked me
"want to know how to double your money?"
I shrugged and he grinned
"you take your money
and you fold it in half."

My Name

is Doc Holliday
and I am alone in my room
I swallow the bitterness
of the narcotic preparation
and move into the soft
slow space of now
I hear the breathing
and the heartbeat
of the rising moon
the bones of my cough
temporarily staved off
from their rattling
reminder of my demise
the mirror reflects my face
and I become Death
I alone will come knocking
on my door
I alone will beckon myself
to follow me down
I alone will beckon myself
to follow me down
the dusty trail that ends
where worms grow fat
on the flesh of the dead

Patrick Keller is a doctoral student at the University of New Mexico. He published a few poems in his previous life as an English teacher. He lives with Julia, his wife for the better part of two decades; Max and Bella, their two cats; and Rio, their yellow Labrador puppy dog.

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