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February 2004  |  Jacket 25  Contents  |  Homepage  |  Catalog  |  Search  |

John Latta

Two poems

To my Readers in the Year 2099

O to be more than a poop
Sheet detailing the fustian pleasances and odd

Acerbic tendencies of the late twentieth century,
Stuck way out on nature’s limb, hanging

Feral and irredeemable and by my toes!
You get standard dope in any book—

Plimsoll and pixie, blood of a self-
Slaughterer all titian and red, gaff’d up

To look like a bumbershoot earnest, quothing
Postmortems on the weather therein, pouchy, final, un-

French. . . Be not afraid of my glad-
Handing gusto. It is how I am

Teaching myself to break asunder my idiocy
With idiocy and of all the figures

Strewn about here on the grounds where
Beforehand only petulance and raw mischief abound’d,

It is it that is compliancy’s own—
Yield to ruin, and ruin to go.

Here it is: time’s a moment’s only
Measure so I got none but spook

And my fey unvariegated word to give.
There are other smeary continuities that I

Apprehended long ago as comprising me and
They too slide under my dead continuance

In a baffling expenditure of years whose
Consortium I never am less privy to,

And grok not why a consciousness unguardedly
Plumb’d, grubstake for a future, might not

Lodge itself within you, glad prithee-fab
Cohort a century hence, and perish not.

Kingdom and Itch

I love the faintly illicit

Nights of memo and draft,

Supper-in-a-box deft-

Cook’d in its lyrical cardboard.

The fetch of sleep quick-

Claims my boy member of

Its kingdom the color of

Oil the color of lemons.

One grows indomitable under comical

Light, longs to parse fables

Of paterfamilias and strop, rye

And brute melancholy. ‘O pig-

Headed darling of my autumnal

Frenzy, return with that alarming

Booty, I itch terribly and

Irregular, frog on bent knee.’

Photo of John Latta

Photo: John Latta
by Joanne Tangorra

Jacket 25 — February 2004  Contents page
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