Angst Alfresco and other works by by David Rowe


New Orleans poet David Rowe has ROWEd crew in prep school, worked in a salmon ROwE house up in Alaska, lived (lord knows) on skid ROWe, and currently knows his way around the ROWE brand jukeboxes of New Orleans. His works have appeared in such literary journals as Exquisite Corpse, North American Review, Burning Bush (Ireland), The Maple Leaf Rag, YAWP: a Journal of Poetry & Art, as well as the cages of ex-lovers' pet reptiles and songbirds both here and abroad. David Rowe is considered by many scholars as one of the leading expositors of 21st century American poetics & thought.


Pearl Harbor Day

I buried my father a fortnight ago
& to get quite forthright about it:
his obituary was less than accurate,
his funeral a poignant mess,
even his interment in the Central Mass
Veterans Cemetery ironic
since the army had arguably ruined him.
So, overwrought & addlepated,
I absuatulated,
I took my happy ass
on the bus to Brooklyn
where it's Pearl Harbor Day
& I'm feeling bombarded indeed
by-to borrow from the Bard- Fortune's
outrageous arrows & slings.
I, myself a bearded & doting
goof of a Daddy, though an estranged one;
I, a chronic Alcoholic
who chooses not to drink;
I, a Poet whose pen
has been left
entirely bereft
of amen
& abracadabra:
I can intellectually identify-Oh,
in theory, I'm well able to find
the Isis behind
this, my three-or-fourfold identity crisis,
but not in practice.
No, to know this cross is
in fact to become
my very ladder up to heaven
only makes it
all the more burdensome.


Angst Alfresco

As putti piss in the fountain
of the courtyard of the café,
I'm feeling so miserably precious,
a reformed drunkard
blushing over his gourd of yerba mate
amongst these boho bozos
with their politicized diets & angst alfresco,
several endimanche Baptist families,
& a Conde Nast
-y couple making the last
of their many goes-of-it.
Will I ever be able
to rise above the primal
this-chick-outta-bed level?
Will I never master the mystic trick
of taking self-loathing & idle loafing
& making of them love's Eucharistic loaf?
As putti piss in the fountain
of the courtyard of the Croissant d'Or
& dragon- & damsel-flies do their darnedest
to gather & darn together this piss-poor
lower kingdom's randomness.


Poem at the Risk of Sounding Glib

This is gonna show my age but hey:
She broke off a bunch of car antennae
To make me a misdemeanor bouquet
O to be glib about her just wouldn't do
No, it wouldn't be accurate
To get too articulate but hell:
She wore plastic hospital
Bracelets like bangles by Chanel,
Burrs on her trousers for appliqués,
& were I a weaver of Oriental
Rugs this is where I'd shove
The Perfectly Reverent Imperfect Th-read
For it wouldn't be fair
To get too damn fluent
About our affair but still:
The corner catalpa
Would proffer its cigars
Like a proud papa
& find nary a taker until
The day she up & grabs a pair,
Paradiddles the air,
& rimshots the snaredrum moon.