Cream of Ether

Cream of Ether — poems pulled from thin air using Icon Poet

This collection is also available in various e-book formats at

The iguanas seem so regal
glowing darkly in the city
and their leisure seems illegal
and their skin is reptile pretty

Since emotion once meant glory
evolution's not too shrewd
When iguanas tell the story
here's what matters: Sun and food

Devotion is the hopeful relic
held by a fellow who's feeling
the girl he adores is so sweetly angelic
she could actually find him appealing.

Furthermore, said Buster Bubble
grasping bits of psychic rubble,
Furthermore, I'm bloody insubstantial.

Shadowy... an amateur...
My ethery parameters
have faults both scientific and financial.

There's an infant smell like roses
when the reeds who own the water
part for bebop baby Moses
blowing sax to pharaoh's daughter
from his quilt of straight papyrus
to her broken-hearted jewels
drifted liberation virus
and an urge to bend the rules.

Basement boxes deep and strong
show no feel for right or wrong
kept down in a distant section
no label speeds their resurrection
bridges run from moat to castle
but basement boxes, what a hassle!

A consumer arranged his career
to avoid looking into the mirror
but he works till infinity
out of this shallow trinity:
status, inertia, and fear.

Limbo low, you steamy person
shimmy 'neath that deadly bar
even rascals hold their cursin'
gather 'round the limbo star

Next in line's a sleepy dancer
ether draws her sullen hand
then her knee, and now your answer:
flesh is light in limbo land.

It's a funeral for a donkey
dragging traffic to a halt,
so the cop begins to honk, he
wants to close down the gestalt
of emotion for a beast,
but the peasants knew its mother
and the angels threw a feast
to call home their good gray brother.

Terrific to feel you
sleepy and close
skinny with virtue
and softly verbose
secretly shrewd
and gracefully mad
happily nude
and seductively bad.

School your kids in earthly subjects
bathe their youth in leisure style
status girl Will Sulk For Objects
schedule boy stays infantile

Yonder comes the wisp of waste
roughly riding Ivy's health
the sharpest doom she's ever faced
has bent her vigor down by stealth

Her cherished looks are lately hated
once youthful, now her skin's a gray
balloon rambunctious time deflated
The wisp must know no other way.

Except for the fatal anxiety,
there's no major flaw to sobriety
it's not like the theory
that one must grow weary
of mercy, truth, kindness and piety.

Fifteen ledges hard below me,
thirteen rooms behind.
I'm balanced on the railing, homey —
all offers were declined.

Sharp, the wind, that says to fall,
as sober sleep the lame.
At least I let you bet it all;
at least we played the game.

As a hungry token debutante
sat down in Roscoe's restaurant,
an unexpected tragedy began

In the kitchen, past the vinegar,
sailed a lobster, like a spinnaker,
and he landed on a pizza in its pan

Said the deb, "I'd like Italian,
rather heavy on the scallion..."
so the waitress — yikes! — she piled that pizza high

And obscured the shrewd crustacean
then she took the combination
to the debutante she hoped to satisfy

Could we holler truth unvarnish'd
'bout what hides beneath the garnish,
we would warn the hapless diner of her fate

But the claws are set in motion
on that creature from the ocean
and the nose of our poor deb has got a date.

Naomi's potato-skin chowder
hid fingernails ground into powder
Except that one fellow
compared it to Jell-O,
the compliments couldn'a been louder.

Couch-jumper Roscoe is often at large
whenever you roll off the sofa
and head for your bed like a sleepy gray barge
then he puts on a hot bossa nova
and jumps on the cushions, so comfortably warm
so springy he can't help but hop
higher and higher, he's showing fine form
till you wake up and ask him to stop.

The vegetables felt on occasion
an envy for pure information
but a turnip's a hero
while a one or a zero
is merely a representation.

Shop a while, Miss Crocodile
slither through the mall
Here's your style: a toothy smile,
a snakeskin coverall

We cater to the 'gator
who shows some fashion gumption
So up the escalator
for conspicuous consumption.

Little do the witches want
a book of spells, a forest haunt
a crow, a cat, a child to bend
to teach the laws of reason's end.

For expressing her love of the city
with its image so jaded and gritty,
the girl was rewarded —
then immediately boarded
at a rural school, distant and pretty.

Behind the garden, old and pink
and plastic, our flamingo
so fancy fine we used to think
back when we lived for bingo
and bowling, too, a Cadillac,
and gin, of course with tonic
Hey, wait! These things are coming back
but this time they're ironic.

Café generation, solidly bright
reaching for a latte in the middle of the night
yielding to temptation, stuffing down biscotti
the lights are on at midnight, but you're no illuminati.

The reason the painted balloon cops
avoided the pink pantaloon shops
was fear that their figures
could not stand the rigors
of buckles as large as spittoon tops.

Fragility's familiar rages
rip her blackest journal pages
throw them off the balcony
flutter, flutter to the sea
there her deepest fears and wishes
bore the pants off passing fishes.

Aroma therapists sometimes get SO verbose
that you triple your normal aroma dose
then all through your rooms
waft a dozen perfumes
and your housemates all tend to get comatose.

The basement faces heaven and the rafters catch the ground
there's carpet in the bathtub, and the copper's all unsound
the knobs are by the hinges and the fire bell's on the shelf
but nothing's quite so homey as a home you made yourself.

Middle of the party,
looking ragged and divine,
Naomi's acting hearty
holding consciousness in line.

Faith in her odd theory
scatters instincts to the wind
But the commoners are weary,
and their minds undisciplined.

Town and country boys and women
in the pool we catch them swimmin'
Milky flesh and creamy faces
golden hair and suits with laces
riding up seductive cracks
slipping off those rich young backs
Close the streets for blocks around
let boys and women run aground.

Painted gazes offer mindless
journeys to sophisticates
tawdry beauty's lure is timeless
costing only small trinkets

Down along the ashen fields
went lively Buster Bubble
oily as a patch of tar
and seriously in trouble

For he had handed out the shoes
that started robots hopping
getting jobs and working late
and yearning to go shopping

Area Fifty-One, that darkened strip
home to aliens' drunken prom trip
cruising fast, then low they veered
now they're reverse engineered.

When the scarabs hid from cherubs,
and the cherubim were scared of him,
the one we call the Noodle sold his friend
to an overreaching hermit
by the name of Mr. Kermit,
to go hustling used kimonos in West Bend.

Now kimonos take cojones
to get worn by one not born
to that bent and western part of Indiana,
so to lift his obligation
Noodle's friend went on vacation
with the hermit's brutal poodle called Diana.

It was lurid, it was sordid,
with the daily grooming looming
on that swampy stretch of beach-front black lagoon.
Though the pooch was overzealous,
there were fruit drinks with umbrellas
which put friend and poodle both away by noon.

Purple kimono, what is beneath you?
knowing Naomi, I'll bet that it's gold,
gossamer, flesh, and a zipper with teeth to
keep away all but the beastly and bold.

Doctor, please, my forehead chooses
fever over patent boozes
drawn from inorganic taps,
measured out in plastic caps,
flavor dismal, stale, and tinnish...
artificial cherry finish

Gather some wild mushrooms, there
my gifted youthful friend
turn your golden gaze to where
the fungi never end.

Back to enchantment with the moment fairly glowing
the day was worn like wingtips; your ambivalence was showing
After keeping up your bargain to drag through fake devotion
you're punching out at last, and rolling for the ocean

Painted towns are letting go and reaching for the shore
with copper-covered fingers that stand for nothing more
than guides along a journey to a cooler way to be,
your eyes on the horizon, your ankles in the sea.

This table pale, this torso damp,
the daily mail we got at camp
the coldest marble known to girl
a bashful, frozen Duke of Earl
now holding out his sopping suit
she's scandalized (but thinks he's cute).

Plastic solids in the snow
disgrace our golden bungalow
see the judgement Hell now wishes
robots who won't do the dishes.

Getting shrewd, getting brutal
making reasons to go feudal
running mousses through your tresses
faking separate consciousnesses
it's terrific all the knowledge
one picks up in business college.

Show me the gimmick, the hairless man said,
for acres of nothingness sit on my head
a field of bare skin, I'm legally bald
if your method is heat, I'm ready to scald
if your method is cold, I'm ready to freeze
you can generate force up to seventeen G's
and slip in new follicles torn from the back
of a ragged old lemur or rugged old yak
whichever you like, my head's in your hands
You'll bring back my youth with your elegant strands
of filament specially made to get drawn
through the scalp, where it falls in a beautiful lawn
that no one can tell isn't honestly mine
So when do we start? So where do I sign?

Get right down to sordid beauty
force the finger fetish forest
do your stale rough instinct's duty
touch the waitress thee adorest
so what, the looking glass reveals
you're white and opalescent
brutal shoes with lipstick heels
make the adolescent.

Special fat potatoes dug,
loosened by a brilliant bug
powdered like a stately drug
milkified and frozen

Wanda's watching pay TV
on her modern balcony
craves a spoonful suddenly
potato life she's chosen.

Elbow essence, dirty, loose
hang and bend and tip your juice
bring down test tubes in the lab —
catch them 'fore they hit the slab!

Down around the shadow zoo
where Roscoe dreams a cockatoo
with plastic ears is needing to get eaten,

Something cold and jaded stays
waiting with a landlord's gaze
to spoil your game and let you know you're beaten.

Rock the castle and open your ears
both the contessas have thrown back beers
they're hopped up on foliage like beautiful crows
but devotion to excess is their regalest pose.

Wedding uncertainty didn't fly past
the hall where our service was held
her first and my first... but only my last
the bride wasn't into a permanent meld

We'd be living the good revolution, we dreamt,
avoiding bourgeois personality crisis
hiding all week in our bed so unkempt
Eleven years later she's praying to Isis

And wondering aloud, —on my birthday yet, — whether
I shouldn't be earning much more at my age
I tell you it's lovely when we get together
except for these spasms of rage.

Common or uncommon, like a bowl of sugar packets
or a partial map to radiant dimensions,
they're burdened with the truth, in their vinyl leather jackets,
the metal girls with silvery intentions.

Extremely most quaintest of quilted stuffed pillows
snowy soft buds on a vase full of willows
baskets of soaplets and everything's floral...

I must leave this place and go somewhere immoral.

Bathed in information and yet generating jokes,
I knew the urban alligator had to be a hoax.
We should have scattered breadcrumbs but we didn't follow through;
I didn't know how deadly it would be to wait for you.
The reptile ate the sandwiches I held out as a token
they didn't spoil his appetite, in fact he seemed awoken
and ready for the entrée, which was you and me, my friend
and that's the cold hard story of the way we met our end.

Youth and evolution, two dark thieves
often loved by those they favor
Breed while young, for youth soon leaves;
his pal declares you last year's flavor.

The telephone feels such disgrace
as each metallic token
falls dead within its tarnished case
"No more," it cries, "I'm broken!"
but in a voice too small to hear
above the howling gale
like dimes, its whispers disappear
like us, it hates to fail.

Plastered to the heavens
like napkins beered to bars
they're tens if not elevens:
the planets and the stars.

Painted glass in every city
blocks the gaze of beastly boys
Ladies draw their curtains, pretty
certain it's not missing toys
the lads are looking for this evening
nor lost snakes or pepper mills
steamy sights are what they're thieving
not too young to dig cheap thrills.

Simply felt as hair by face,
snow on couch by fireplace,
blocked affection spots his guide
racing down her slippery slide
to a bed of scary joys,
hears the call of her Ahoys,
holds his ears for fifteen seconds
then creepy-crawls to where she beckons.

Fire and meat, potato salad
barbecue is always valid
twenty dogs and twenty brats
How much beer? I'd say lots.

Here beneath the silver town
eyes all carefully look down
urban instinct to be surly
closes off the hurly-burly
city bonds grow colder sooner
emotionally, the landscape's lunar.

Exploding with utility, the men of exiled grace
call wistfully for exercise, the challenge of the race
their bones and concentration hope a game of painful forces
will help them to forget about their sensitive divorces.

Decide, said the doctor, what'll it be?
get a beautiful face scientifically
approval is yours with fuller new lips
made with the fat that we've drawn from your hips
wrinkles be gone, and anxiety too
ask about terms for a radiant you...

Well, the ether was sweet and my flesh is now tight
but my soul is still empty and black as the night.

Stay metallic, copper eyed,
o rugged robot mine
your silver flesh and what's inside
stand stately and refined
I never grasped your exile
in the closet, solid neighbor,
I never thought to thank you while
you freed my days from labor.

Pursue the challenge, older fellow
drag your songs out, grab your cello
buy the band some Wonder Bread
and send them off to watch with dread
your magic journey back in song
a happy gig that might go wrong
they say you can't be cool past fifty
but even trying's pretty nifty.

Beer from powder (just add water)
soaking into yonder blotter
dry the blotter out in here,
grind it, make more powdered beer!

That glowing broth, the cream of hope
is known for features any dope
would call incredible if it weren't
a soup inedible when burnt.

Hey there, noodle, why so broad?
noodle trimming center flawed?
skinny fallen to disfavor?
grandness said to yield more flavor?
reasons keep emerging strengthwise
still, I think I'll cut you lengthwise.

Ballooning down the hall one day,
Naomi wished her youth away
up went money, style and class
down rebellion, beauty, bone mass
when her craft approached the attic
youth came back on, automatic.

Anxiety, that modern horse,
is charging quickly 'round the course
as Reason wears a jaded face —
he knows that Joy should lose this race.

Then suddenly a fragrant breeze
appears to make the leader freeze
and Reason learns what Excess knows:
the winner's Joy, if by a nose.