Ray Osborn


ISSUE 43 | BAR | AUG 2014

For John Andrew Wilhite
they are filled
to brims,
my orifices,
but now a platypus:
in turn its arrival.
I know
just how you feel
deep inside,
come on,
probe at my
soggy claws,
my nippers…
but still a dullard
set soggy, ululate,
and that's an order
of strapping young
thai food, oh fuck,
how you looked!
I am so aglow
just spitting on you
with your sexual organs
all soft between
the velvet of my
outward pointing
I'd like, yes,
to spavin touch
out of old age
into your bloviating
maw filled with
my red semen.
This was once
my favorite
no more.

For Zachary Horvitz
He consumed the Lotus without teeth
and sat in delight over its leaves.
He chose not to sip from the spring
but instead turned his gaze to Nature
or the materiality composing wit
that compiled with layers of tangential points.
He vomited the Lotus up in glee.


For My Father
Harsh spark in
the lack of day
prompts close,
beg of warmth,
quiet secret.
Come across these
happy busty beams
concealing desire
of more in nature
than exact petals.
Cradle me into
your lacking scent
which is undone
by the full embrace
of similitude.

Nothing quiet
in your present
unless the bud’s
secret counts.

A contagiousness
like clandestine
monks scathing
perfections in
chant and script.

Don't crease in
but blaze out
the sun's
of showiness.

You ask for
all attention
like blue pines
wishing to be
indifferent sky.

Don’t mock me
with your glee
in my sadness
over lost paths
where I find you.

I won’t lie to you;
this impersonation
does please me,
to imagine you
could be animate.
You think I care
for a flower’s
teeming feeling
and solid angst
over sessile rot?

I wish I did care
but it is a crass
reminder of my
rallying losses
in potential motion.

It doesn’t matter
because at least
and at very most
I won’t forget
how I’m not inert.


For Myself
I've heard the words before
over and over inside my head
until it hypnotizes me, mollifies
my unctuous sadness
into something more palatable
than this sharp, sublime salt
or so they used to say.
Let me cry sugar into my coffee
so that the bitter taste
rolls and lolls around my tongue,
tapping out verbiage as élan,
as the word beauty might imply.
It isn't so much sadness anymore,
it's just the molecules of sugar
get so stuck in my aqueducts
that I can't help but be reminded
of the solace salt once brought.


For Linnea Blank
Your voice, no more than a whisper.
You cling to the idea that you aren't good enough.
I come to realize what you mean and you are
a fixture in my sky of the lips of twice scarred cracks
and teal tokens of twice chosen sea-glass, like water.
I didn't know you until I saw you hating yourself
and then I knew too much, how, and really,
I'd always be a part of you,
maybe not the better or best parts
but certainly something that would stick
like my eyes through the glass of the car window
onto the fields of raspy growth inspiring you to speech
as you showed me Texas haunting Western Oregon,
“Babes, it just looks better this way.”

I still don't really know what a Bluebonnet looks like,
aside from how you memorized and recited them via maw, here;
a polished ocean, one that chimes us our solitude in blues
that are mourned for purples. I'm watching your eyes trace
like bumblebees the wildfire of wildflowers teasing us,
the speed of the car pulling irises in our eyes from clump to clump,
quietly, like a lover, and playfully mocking our attempts to undress
that which is already nude in perfection like your make-up lined lineaments, Honey,
where you're set outside yourself to see in drowsy slang and scandalous arches,
in order to cause unrest in the viewer and only casually to imply anything human at all.
I’m trying to avoid the cliche but all I can think to say is this:
“They look like bonnets that are blue.” Genius.
Though in all actuality they look like you to me
or me to you, rather, like something Nature made
after Nature was made, an afterthought to the fuchsia-fucked
Bleeding Hearts always outside my parents’ house in Michigan
as I talk to you on the phone, chain smoking and rattling off details
of our love lives in different hues of our skin and tongues
or no such color at all, or Schiap, or some magically unnamed
(because don't all tubes of lipstick have some silly-assed name?
(Apparently not)) gradation in nuanced degrees of holy shame.
I shall dub this color “Linnea’s Lips” from now on.
And here you thought I’d say something clever.
Instead I'll settle on something loving, as I know you would have it, my pigeon.
You were never color me once, but i'm trying to work you into that mold,
instead I should go for something natural, like the way we,
in my head, floating and broken in your field of lush, turned hungry.
You turn off my self-indulgence, self-awareness, and self-consciousness
so that the sered shame might not hinder my logorrhea about him,
whoever he might be at some moment in time, or who he
has always been, where I thought he was living in the body before me
but somehow realize he is somewhere else, out there,
but I’m left to track and trace his vanishing tracks like dove’s feet in the grass.