Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kenneth P. Gurney


Physics, Not Chemistry

In a universe made out of strings
we are all marionettes
with no idea of who maneuvers
our feet and arms
above the black velvet ceiling.
Delphi asked me to jump rope
some double dutch game
with heal slapping.
Fearlessly I joined in
but we fell into a tangle of limbs:
my right foot slow to clear
the rotating blur.
She thumped the ground
under my tall body
in a whoosh of breath,
then spread her legs
and drew me tighter to her.
During our first kiss 
I found my mind
both on her soft lips 
and wondering
what caused this 
sudden amor
after all those school years
of orbital proximity.

Impossible Angle

I am in the laundromat
worried about rinse cycles
and dryer sheets
and my book remains 
unopened, as the clothes
slosh around 
in some vague 
imitation of a circle
with sudsy splashes.
There is a small zoo
of stuffed animals
in the dryer
and it reminds me
of Noah’s ark
and the cataclysmic events
an old testament god
visits upon his people,
and how thousands 
of dust mites
must be clinging on
to the zoomorphic fabric
for their very lives
at this moment.
To birds, I believe,
the inventor of glass
is the devil incarnate—
which assumes
birds believe in god
and the devil—
or, maybe, in some 
Buddha-like wisdom
they understand
glass’s existence 
forms a cosmic balance
equal to the constant seed 
in the bird feeder.


My posture was bad 
from writing poems all day
at the computer
and my back would not straighten
when I tried to sit up
or stand up
and I lay down
bent and curved
on the floor, hoping
gravity would settle
my parabola,
and slowly I inched
my way through
the jolting pain
and wished
I’d taken up yoga
at age ten.

bio:  Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA.  He edits the anthology Adobe Walls.  His latest collection of poems is An Accident Practiced.  To learn more about Kenneth, visit:

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