Joe Milford – 3 poems


Complacent Ivy 

my face feels thick
with media pith
i wipe off napalm

my mind knows
better wheelchairs
and chooses no legs

my poem is a stick
oldest tech ever
newest tech ever

airplanes flutter
like schizophrenia
around my heretic nest

were you ever
scared of thoughts
you left behind?

i mine those
every night
with digital pixies

i need you to write more poems
i need to fill
my vehicle

with your drama
or your petrol
or your porn

culture only runs
on vending machines
when you walk towards a tree

no matter what you are doing
stop right now
and just go stand

by a tree and touch it.
you will walk back
to your hospice

and die a little bit better.



The Degradation

Waffle House, also known by the retired police officer son of the confederacy gun aficionado I currently live with in a haunted house as “awful waffle,” and in walks this guy, gaunt one, lanky, gruff, long-faced, an iggy pop-type if iggy had ever been a trucker and iggy at one point probably was, a gibby haynes type, a jesus lizard/david yow type, a ribcage and socket set kind of character, a tom waits jacket sleeve, etc. he crosses the grease and bleach brick floors of the establishment towards his niche at the grill and shortly after, no kidding, johnny cash finished playing, the relative easiness in playing a cash song, and he walks in and says, “here comes the degradation,” and he is wearing this please-don’t-shoot-me-I-am-not-venison blindingly orange hat and he fires up the grill and I realize he is bringing the degradation—I know I am about to eat the best goddamn hash browns of my entire life and in the local paper here in Moreland—the home of THE LEWIS GRIZZARD MUSEUM and the ancient towtruck parked in front of it—they have a spot where they transcribe witty exchanges on CB frequencies—so, with great enthusiasm out unto every airwave,  I say, “bring the degradation”—let it come scattered like stars, covered like atmospheric pressure, smothered like a dead moon, chunked like an asteroid belt—bring the degradation grease monkeys, bloodshot hellions with spatulas—yes—bring the degradation.—it’s about time the penalties of the known cosmos were brought forth by 135-pound shaven rusty-shears grill chefs—it was only inevitable—as good degradation should be.  bring it down like antifreeze suicide.  bring it down like acid rain southern rock festival.  bring it down like a demolition-derby tornado.  bring that degradation.  yep.




halos and satellites 

I found you under the piled
Halos. I worried over your
Holiness, but you cursed
At me so I felt good about
Cutting out my bull and trying
To bleed it into your orchid.
I love women—how each one
Of them thinks she can birth
Us all. I love men, how all of them
Want to become architects.
They suck so bad at math, those
Men piled about like halos
Under the heavy bed of angels
Who sleep like no ever has
Waiting for the orchid and bull
To make a horn or wing or seed
And the seed gives us its bud
And stamen and pistil and sucks
Earth up into our mouths as we
Use fiber optics to suck
The infinite down into our roots
I found you under the pile of you
I peeled off the parts you wanted
Me too—you call that love.



Joe Milford edits the journal SCYTHE with his wife. He is a full-time English professor. His first book came out on BlazeVox Press, 2010. He is the host of the Joe Milford Poetry Show. Other than that, he drinks more beer than an ancient Sumerian god.



About gobbet

gobbet is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the very best experimental poetry and prose. Intellectual perversity and explorations of dark themes are positively encouraged. We are only interested in work that is progressively experimental. We want to see risks, and we want to see them pay. No previously published work. Prose should not be longer than 1000 words. There are always exceptions. Send 3-5 poems. Include a short bio. Send submissions to Work will be published every 5-10 days. We also intend to publish anthologies of selected work published in gobbet. We will do our best to reply promptly. Most submissions will receive a decision within a month.
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