“The young and the hip” by A.J. Kaufmann

The young and the hip give thanks
to bungalow hosts
party pigs
lipstick leather belts
vomiting dawn on the world
reaching out
for another bottle of whisky
give thanks
to the wind that shakes fragile bodies
exposed to sun and moon
writing in tribal riddles
dressing in contours of sleep
furious, young
setting sails on sundown
drifting with sunrise, hooray!
screams of birds impale us
pirates execute us
sing us songs
written back when
the world was fourteen
give thanks
to the idol totem
thin on the TV screen
high on milk and vegetable shakes
when we were drunk on beer
cheap intents
& guardians
give thanks
cause we were there
for them

poems by AJ Kaufmann

The Desperate Land

death is victory
pallid winds of petals
statues, blind & cruel
close to voice
within vapor
bare broken lamps
mute dusty
veils of marble
seals of sand
in trembling progress
sun regal dead
king at barren dusk
strange to
the desperate land

Monster of Love

question the piano
wait for no grave
glass for the mine and the mad
moved, the wilder, the private
brown lifeless paper
wanderers emptying foyer
who ran disguises night
you asleep in the song dream
turning of the piano
and of joy
the discovery of
you play presence
chromatic illusions
a novel
murmured dress
for the monster
of love

Steppes Song Surreal

steppes tattoo
in her eye
brandy-flowers in my side
loose icy drums
the bottles, the snows
shudder the light
won’t let go
palaces warm obeying her touch
died in the little night
islands sleeping under the dog
small in a window July
half-moon hook grasshoppers
pebble boys of spring
baggage noise in the hushed snow
ten thousand vibrant hills
hollow place
a pint of blood
motionless kitchen fire
asbestos boots
on beatnik feet
the hunchback and his lyre
a distant coyote
of our mortality
wheeling through the night alone
winter jade is free
passengers plundering
vague dance town
the pointed flame
crawling back into their brain
dragon’s mouth – the end

listen to your sea
languid dreams of traffic
kill wilderness morning
drowned birds
curved trees shadow
sunken ravine
azure pale
evening forest dark
spirit’s egg
full to death
lawns of heaven’s dropped
tireless torn land
mangled wing ghosts
jar of sun
hoop of drums
marble phantom moon
a road