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Friday, July 27, 2012

A Poetry Collection of CLINTON VAN INMAN

We are delighted to highlight the work of CLINTON VAN INMAN, a regular at MEL BRAKE PRESS


If we could dance just one more night away

Filled with champagne and candlelight,

In hours held by our own delight,

Only this and this alone would please.

Like Chablis mixed with sweet bouquet

In moments we soon shall not forget

Save all not close to the clarinet,

Where only perfume and tobacco lingers

Our love shall rise above all of these.

While we tango upon the outer terrace

Moonbeams shall fall upon your face,

And I shall say that nothing really matters

Except this time that we have passed

Because we have saved our best for last.


Color coded complete with picture I.D.

Well teach you to be like us.

Give you a turtle neck or bow tie

You will be our kind of Mensch

Complete with certificate of authenticity

Credit rating and charge account,

Security, savings, and even disability.

Well teach you how to walk and talk

in circles as if you had some sense.

We will give you some brand named shoes

Well even call you Frank or Frankie

We gave you a brain doesn't matter

Which for they all are just the same,

But why are you still reaching for



It was no accident my coming here,

They must have known long before

I wandered to their farmhouse near

That soon Id knock upon their door.

Call it more than a good neighbors sense

In snow to leave the porch lamp lighted

Or post the sign on the picket fence,

For those in need are all invited.


I learned at an early age

What happens to all snowmen,

Why the fake beards

As I sat upon his lap

And took his hard candy.

Now there is only no in my noel.

But I fool them in my

Berry reds and holly greens

Perpetual as prize ribbons

Now New Years breaks with bad breath

While the world awaits with

Its perfect white teeth, I run like a gnome.


I thought you died

In the last war but I

See you are up to your

Old tricks again

Pointing your finger

Bullying boys to join

Your cause of killing


O say can you see the

Fields filling with those

Who believed your old lie

That freedom means fighting

Now more clownish than ever

In those striped pants and hat,

Yet not as real as rocking children

Waiting, waiting to follow you, Sam


No compass or maps to guide them

Across cruel, unchartered seas,

Only hungry eyes to lead them

To distant, alien shores.

No crosses to commemorate first steps,

Only curious on-looking gulls.

Yet two thousand years later armed

With compass and Greek math and logic

They headed West to find the East

And sailed upon the western Atlantic,

Yet missing two seas and an entire continent

They claimed their New World.


They glitter and glow like flashing stars

The fire flies we chase in summers sky.

With some power we can not understand

We try to catch them and hold in hand

Yet can only watch and wonder why

The ones we catch and place in jars

Will not shine and seem to refuse

Until we open the jar and turn them loose.

And just like us whether a fly or kid

No light shines under glass or lid.


I heard they buried you today

Laid you to rest next to

in God we trust

And the last of your eagles.

It was a closed casket ceremony

Because you were so badly

Disfigured being run over

By a billion evasive species.

We sent your widow a card

Signed by all us

Unemployed union workers.


Of course the rooms are still filled with shadows

While lazar lights and computer programs prove

More cost effective than fire yet the cardboard

Cut-outs and the curtains have remained the same

As well as those old lies that trees are real,

That the way out really goes somewhere,

That Math leads more than circles

And that Apollo himself is behind the curtains

Keeping their domino world from collapsing.

Only a few banned poets or other down and outers

With only a pocketful of Zen dare climb

The arduous way out as most prefer

To sit and argue about living conditions

Or the quality of food and have learned to love

The rope while accepting some back door reality.

FOR ELBA, 2012

Pale would be the waters

That reflect only skies

And grace not the splendor

Of your enchanting eyes.

Pale would be the moon

That only marks its pace

And fails to look down upon

Your more fairer face.

Paler would be the poet

Whose words can not express

One word to match your smile

Or something deeper no less.


I keep it always quite natural

In my perfectly unnatural

Selection this bigfoot in boxers

Freaking nature no Brownian

Movement could ever detect.

Indeterminate yet principled

In my unprincipled principle of uncertainty.

You can find me hunched

Behind a wall of billboards

And thinly disguised bas-reliefs

Leading to the center of unreal cities

Where I keep my temples tall.

Pure bacchanal

From the barrio bringing

Basketsful of baryons

And binary broken bits

Careful, the alphas will leave

You quite brain dead

And all quite meaningless

Among the unions and uniforms

Except for the dream of

Unicorns and unisex.


They buried them in our little Southern town

Nothing much here for miles around

Why, I guess, they figured they'd never be found

Those toxic drums they buried in the ground.

Our little Southern town was much like all those around

Where towers and church steeples stood tall,

Where most folks never heard of a shopping mall,

Yet here kids grow up quick

And here kids grow up strong

Yet we knew something was wrong

When kids were dying or getting sick.

It was those drums rusting and rotting with time

As their poisons seeped out into the water line.

We always thought war was something

Over there and given a foreign name

Not something within buried in our backyard,

And something most of us would never understand

Those drums of Agent Orange came from Viet-Nam

And were buried on our rich mayors land.

Seems our mayor had made a deal with strategic command,

As the drums were buried on his promised land.

The mayor refused to comment and moved away,

While we with our dead children were here to stay.

CLINTON VAN INMAN is a high school teacher in Hillsborough County, Florida. He graduated from San Diego State University and was born in Walton on Thames, England. Recent publications include: Warwick Unbound, Tower Journal, The Poetry Magazine, Down in the Dirt, May, The Inquisition, The Journal, The Beatnik, The Hudson Review, Forge, Houston Literary Review, BlackCatPoems, and Out of Four. Hopefully, these poems will be published in a book called, Far From Out as I am still waving the flag of the generation.

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