Selected Poetry by Robin Ray
Photo Source: PxHere
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
their all too public race lost.
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.
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.
shadows, we dance naked
hidden from the dead.
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.
Echoes of a futile journey. Blizzards to face,
none to crave, and politely endeavored to
explore the expanse of terra firma in all her
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,
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.