Kentucky February Snowfall

deep blue rhythm of arctic winter grasps
in chill fingers southern haven belies
comforts, jails them in frosted winter world
when to end? when to end? for warmth they pray
though to whom none can certain say, they pray
and curse and burn more fuel, wood, gas, coal
smoke and steam escaping impotent to heat
the world and its arctic sky snowing slow.

just weeks from vernal equinox they cry
against cold nights and bitter frost as robins
chatter of seeds and plenty and coming
pleasance under skies of promise — flowers
soon to triumph over latency and frost
filling the vernal world with truth and beauty.

david m pitchford
26 feb 2014


What Their Son Saw

theirs was a marriage of perfect hatred
refusing to leave lest the other cease
to suffer the shared hell they had so long
labored mindless, heedless, ruthless to build
on a bedrock of resentments taken
from the past and shared between them as though
it were some poison edenic fruit fate
had determined they must partake and die
that most painful and enduring of hells:
workaday life in bad relationship
till bitterness welds them into single
symmetry just in time for death to part
leaving one to cold comfort tasting of dirt
and the other empty-smug satisfaction

david m pitchford
26 feb 2014

Not For Temptation

craig got out of rehab about a month ago
was doing so well until a coworker
brought up a horse named wildcatter — the name
somehow made it all real again, the tracks
the horses gate-to-wire and wagers won
once in a while just enough one more gods
grant me luck today . . . and how can normies
live without those highs? without the lows, live?
but, no , craig coaches himself, he has a higher
power now and steps against that seduction.
an hour later and craig is sweating bullets
though still at work, the quitting bell is set
to ring him home and no overtime in sight
somehow, some way, he’ll manage the beast this time.

David M Pitchford
19 Feb 2014

Particle Night

on the silent shore of electric night
eastside nuclear city in post-human
gluon-free america mourning gone
dreams while all the doctors play the king’s men
with our genome and try to put humanity
back together again,     the red queen singing
june carter into supernova dawns
across the delta blue as eternity
under jules verne laws of physics dances
gravity into tornadic frenzies
time-space melding, bending, splitting into
quantum pollen blown across dark energy
oceans in search of partner neutrinos
electromagnetic interactive  . . .

9 Feb 2014
David M Pitchford

Horses and the Monkey on His Back

craig is at the tracks   —   evicted,   friendless
utilities cut off and truck repo’ed,
lost his job twenty-two days ago now
absences without excuse but for wager
stubs and stubble grown to grungy scrub beard
today     though     he swears     (he prays)     is different
he’s got that old winning-streak itch behind
his right ear   —   the one that’s sure as a bum knee
forecasting storms   . . .   please, o please,     he beseeches
the powers of luck and whatever celestial
ghost of a chance might hear with mercy,     make it
the five-seven-one-twelve in the sixth down
at Tampa today.       begs a superfecta
because there is no patch for the gambler.

David M Pitchford

Parting Shots

not bad enough,   she groused,   you’re all Peter
Pan in a greybeard body!     dating you  . . .
living with you,   is like   . . .   I thought poets
were all ‘truth and beauty,’     but you  —  you take
melancholia and mania further
than any man has gone before   . . .    it’s like
I’m one of those hapless twits traveling
with the doctor—always a step away
from horror, cataclysm, world-ending
calamity and all in a rickety
old   t a r d i s   chased by dalek and who knows
what all in a maelstrom of unreason   . . .
though to be honest,   I must admit moments
grand and,   once,   the awe of eternity   . . .

Craig’s Advice

‘the trick’      he claims,   cigarette dangling dry
on chapped lips     ‘is to pick the winning horse
and bet it to show; gives you about three
times the percentage, but gains piss-pale next
to what the win would bring.’    craig spills his drink
as the six in race five bolts past his three
horse for the win.     ‘and never let a pretty
name pull you off your game.’     he tears tickets
to punctuate,   and signals for another
martini.     ‘sometimes’     he mumbles     ‘one good
jockey can make a difference,     one lucky
dime catch a superfecta,     or some blurted
tip lead to a winning day  . . .  but most times,
friend,   it’s just another day at the races.’

David M Pitchford
6 Feb 2014