Mike has been writing poetry for both adults and children for many years. He has a PhD in poetic semiotics, which helps to explain his passion for shape poems. Mike has been published in many parts of the world, from China to Europe to North America and he has won several competitions, appeared on radio and TV, and his poetry has been published in ‘The Times’. He has also performed to Royalty (HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.) Mike teaches Creative Writing for the Open University and (he’s not sure how related this is!) has also worked with chimpanzees and other primates at London Zoo!
Real Men love Jesus
Jesus loves the Beatles
cold beer at the nursing home
fish shaped turds fumbled carelessly
on the fifty yard line
pass-out pantomime of a doorknob pulling a tooth
pockets filled with Vicodin & antibiotics of many colors
and a casket that floats even
when the waters are rough and the sky bleeds mud.
Ghosts of the summer heat
Peel up off the black pavement
Eastern Montana country roads where the gophers
are pressed flat and still in love with the sky.
Everything is bigger when seen through a mirage
and of course the Lord has his fist full of silver
ready to pay all debts to the whores and lenders
And take out a hit on the Easter Bunny
Lose the fight but win the war
How many calories
are in a bite of Jesus anyway?
If the sinners get any fatter
The moon will wink and water
like the gouged out eye of a whiskey soaked saint
Praise the Lord and pass the red paint
STEVE SIBRA grew up in the 1960s on a farm in Eastern Montana, near a town of less than one thousand people. His best friend from high school is now a United States Senator and one of his other childhood friends is a founding member of one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Steve sells comic books in Seattle and writes poems and stories. His work has appeared in Shattered Wig Review, NRG, Hollow, Crab Fat Magazine, Jawline Review, Jersey Devil Press and others.
“It’s the Bataan Death March inside my pants”
she said once, as I was busy
Pivoting on her axis.
My only reply:
“It all looks good, let’s keep in practice.”
“They call her spineless,” her ex-lover told me
“but take her out on the road and open her up –
Man, that girl’s got legs!
And the little dog just sits and begs!”
Wherever she walks the midget dog accompanies
most of the time he is what’s in between her knees
If all Hell breaks loose for an open field run
the dog disappears until everyone is done
“Roll me on my back it’s like Thanksgiving dinner”
she told me once as I wildly fired my rivets
“Construction work is hard,” I intimated
I was giving her treats while the dog just sat and waited.
“This relationship is over when I say so”
but she never called a halt
just the threat then more promise
I kept waiting for the word, like some Doubting Thomas
I finally had to call the pound, the dog became unruly
“You will never see me again”
she said, “which means I love you truly.”
So it all ended when least expected, dashed my hopes
Then resurrected the dreams of space and time
before crazy music played and made her mine
I slept a week, tossed, turned and sweat
Awoke to find the dog — now my pet.
The minister’s daughters are naked
like ice cream cones sprinkled with fresh grass clippings
They gallop into the kitchen for flapjacks and hot buttered rum
San Francisco Style
Boggle the ricochet batter
flips, nips and knapsacks in the pan
lap the splatter from the walls
bare back prayer rack
“The words of Jesus are printed in red” they call out
Hillbilly savior sings into a can
then bare ass on the table with contents
sit wide with a hotcake on each thigh
cracked into the breeze
it’s a natural high, but wait
Boss Man has a couple of last licks
polish up the horse tack
ransack the peppermint sticks
Following pup protocol
scissors treatment for fools behind the wheel
at this time of night? Get real
busy with the daughters as they start to pop
Honest report? Or just jackstrop
with no jockstrap to ride a wing and a prayer
pull all the feathers off
watch it grow back as hair
Men with clothes start to perspire
that Holy Bush is red hot with fire
apples sliced and placed carefully on top
slather on the batter, cook it into shape
Finally after breakfast
there is lovemaking on the rockpile
above the snake den where the peasants
build ladders and strain cool water
through hot gunnysacks
frisk passersby who walk
under penalty of The Long Climb
if their women balk
The minister lets the naked daughters
thrust against the minibar
slide wet across beveled mirrors
run the streets like molten underarm hairs
They bathe in the sinks by night
standing water, covered by a cloak
Two wisps of smoke come the blue daylight
This is the story of a pizza crust
told in the form of a recipe
or that’s what they want you to think.
The family history of this enclave
would make the happy clams slam shut.
My ancestors were like young children
who found an old fashioned bicycle
rusting in the thick grass;
they climbed on and could ride it instantly –
but were never able to get off.
Far off in the dead dog night some tortured creature howls
too piercing to be ignored –
in fact it ignites and excites me
and I dream myself back to the printed page.
“Three cups all-purpose flour” — a revelation
How many purposes can flour serve?
Will it truly answer all of one’s needs?
Or is it simply hanging around hoping to get a shot
at the active dry yeast
There is dew on the lily in the bread pan tonight
You have had your way with the olive oil —
it is surely all a downhill slide from there.
Stand too long in the oven’s hollow glow
and you will be baked into an unleavened statue
With no uses at all, beyond the obvious
A sad sack of frozen peas, now a tragic thaw
its brains turned to sickly green mush
it’s another lesson never learned
If you fall from the horse, get back on
and ride – just not in the same direction
or with the same dreams
Those thoughts which crawl like spiders out of the wet dough
smeared behind them, the trail of your pain.
And in the end, what is pizza anyway?
A few twists of broken crust
a made-up food
the Liar’s Meal
like the beating Heart of God
it is universally revered.
For every nation dines upon it
yet none will claim it as their own.
the moving finger wrote,
needles in camels eyes and something.
then there is that straw, and sod’s law,
which is something else entirely, like
money for old rope, which could tether
humped, and lumpy kneed moves on,
in other places,
they broke things,
and were put assunder.
imagining vases, that could be stuck,
we wandered wearily, until
the birds stopped singing.
yes, even in mexico.