• Robin Ray

Selected Poetry by Robin Ray


Photo Source: PxHere

Fiddled Dedication

And what if the soloist, at 3AM, rosins his bow,

elegies upon Marmot Hill, echoes sailing across

the slumbered herd? My open window begs those

notes for reasons unknown. Jealous, perhaps, I

lack the gift? Maybe I’m locked in Ken & Barbie’s

playhouse with my plastic stove, plastic fridge,

plastic violin that screeches, unlike the Hungarian

swamped in darkness with his elegant musical

opinions of Lisztian motifs, Brahmsian lullabies.

[If I breathe the moon, waves inside me won’t die.]

I sense the rooster stirring next door, copper

feathers ruffling, preparing to break the day wide

open like a fallen secret. He wants to crow at the

indignant usurper on the hill but he’s too weary,

a night spent redeeming his purchase in the coop.

Let that gypsy play, he thinks, nodding to sleep.

His melody of victory must be dedicated to me.

Impostor in the Amber Room

I swallowed a titanium crowbar,

thought it would make it easier

when navigating these swollen

markets of endless cacophony

and tasteless Velcro salesmen.

I live with the agony of newfound

stiffness, revel at how I can never

be allergic to my own bracelets.

(My fingernails are now alloys

I chew and smelt into jewelry).

I follow my footsteps to a

Mostly Mozart, dizzying displays

of Mizrahi, Vuitton and Dior on

sculptured flesh, secretly scrape

bones off buffet tables for myself

and partners next to the dumpsters

behind Lord & Taylor’s.

This is elegant living, jackal in

human form, navigating a

forbidden empire, that cursed

crowbar supporting my suave

upper lip once again.

We Beat Rhythms

We beat rhythms for the

dance of the dead,

a rough ceremony of

chaffs in the southern

wind. The untamed beast

sports a fire belly,

thoroughbreds stewing in a

witch’s cauldron,

their all too public race lost.

How often

we’ve subsisted on tulip bulbs

like the Dutch

starved in the agony of

World War II. Earth

seeps through our pores

when we inhale

mesquite in the badlands.

With ayahuasca

tea cups emptied in our anatomically gifted

gullets, the sky becomes a mackintosh quilt

of swaying mountain paca fur urging us

towards the emerald Andes. Far and away,

a slight takes its own life. We believe the

bibliopole peddling her ancient Book of

Blood is not as deceased as we’d recalled. At

the end of the road, a cave. In that cave, a

narrow fissure to a dampened chamber. In that

chamber, the concealed

wishes of frustrated

subalterns in a nook of shadows.

In those

shadows, we dance naked

hidden from the dead.

Solutrean Solution

Ambushed by hunger in my own backyard, I

was a tribesman in singalong

of a successful

hunt across questionable floating pieces of ice

in the North Atlantic.

Destination: Mortgage.

Echoes of a futile journey. Blizzards to face,

none to crave, and politely endeavored to

explore the expanse of terra firma in all her

frozen beauty,

danger a necessary component

of the banker’s offer. We advance armed with

chiseled biface stones protecting us, urgent

survival of species grieving the elderly and

infirmed left behind, off grid,

forced hunger

strikers, slowly folding

in two, sacrificial

volunteers for the

greater good of the future.

Robin Ray is the author of Wetland and Other Stories (All Things That Matter Press, 2013), Obey the Darkness: Horror Stories, the novels Murder in Rock & Roll Heaven and Commoner the Vagabond, and one book of non-fiction, You Can’t Sleep Here: A Clown’s Guide to Surviving Homelessness. His works have appeared at Delphinium, Bangalore, Squawk Back, Outsider, Red Fez, Jerry Jazz Musician, Underwood Press, Scarlet Leaf, Neologism, Spark, Aphelion, Vita Brevis, and elsewhere.