Poems by Kenneth P. Gurney

Lisa believes that we live in god’s imagination
and that god may be on psychotropic medication
in a ward somewhere in the Austrian alps
and enjoys the view of the snow capped mountains.
She thinks the angels that occasionally visit earth
are manifestations of god’s desire to do good.
She thinks the devils that regularly visit earth
are god’s inherent instinct to play cruel jokes.
Lisa believes that black holes are the parts of god’s brain
that have rotted and decayed and the neuro-synapses fail.
Lisa sleeps in a subway station knowing when the train arrives
it is god’s subconscious desire to get laid more often.
She does not like god and bets he lives an unexamined life
and plays with himself in the corner of the day room.
Lisa never thinks of god as a she and pooh-poohs those women
who insist that god is a rape victim tortured by the incident.
She does not have an answer for what happens
when god falls asleep and dreams vanilla ice cream.
Lisa throws some spare change into the subway musician’s
violin case for good luck, because god calms down when he hears Mozart.


She Loved Him Anyway
Sleeping, the lovers did not hear each other snore
or the little moans uttered when in dream.
It was a shared dream that they, subconsciously, realized
they had simultaneously. And in the dream
their skin did not halt their progress
into each other’s interpretation of the world.
Their ids and egos and super egos intertwined
and matched genes as closely as they match.
In this shared dream words never formed.
Thoughts flowed as pulses of light and with such grace
that neither identified which thought belonged
to which lover as they seemed to come from the same mind.
They both had brief thoughts that this ecstasy
might be an insanity, but together they admitted
it might be heaven or a landscape so like the heaven
that they both imagined that it would do.
Sleeping, the lovers lay intertwined and the rising sun
failed to wake them as it peered through the window,
but her dog had had enough of this waiting to go outside
and placed his cold nose on the bed frame
and breathed on her face until the moist breath
became the apocalypse of their conjoined world.


It is the tired metaphor of a train entering a tunnel
and because it is tired its piston motion slows
and its drive has trouble with the incline
and strains the cylinders.
This could be a sign that the marriage
of train and tunnel should come to an end.
This could be a sign that the train
gives the tunnel back to the mountain.
Although, the mountain could claim the tunnel
as its own and bury the track at any time.
There could be a salesman who has a pill
to make the train go faster.
There could be television commercials
interrupting every sporting event to speak about the pill.
There could be a corporation that profits
from the sale of the pill that lays new track
and profits again when the invigorated train
finds new tunnels to enter further along the track.
Up ahead is a station where passengers
wait to board the train
and they know nothing about the pill
or the high speeds that the train takes curves
or that there are tunnels up ahead
that the train will enter.
They just want to get to work on time
and be about their day.

Poems by Kenneth P. Gurney

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