I am Michael Rivet, assistant manager of Blackwidow’s Web of Poetry and have been published in a few small press, student journals, and eZines. I am a founding member of an as yet unnamed poet’s group meeting at Russell Sage. I live in Cohoes with my wife and two children, 2 dogs and (most importantly) 3 cats (to them anyway).

POEMS

 

WINTER WIND

Talk to me, sharp wind,
Don’t beg me through
Glass frosted blind
Hold a conversation
Over which way to go —

To find you, I may cast for culprits
On desolate streets
Looking for interlopers —

As I throw open my door
And charge into empty yard,
I find the sun edging the horizon
And leaves dancing with chain link fence —

Rattling the vacancy
Your fleeting words would fill
Should you stay with me.

 

DEATH

How does one capture
This fascination with death?
To describe the horrific demise
Of creatures obliviously scratching
Out their existence on deep,
Dead winter nights?

Predator and prey, as in prehistoric times,
Perished in a glacial demesne.

One morning, digging carcasses
Out of half a foot or more of ice,
I am Ice Age Man
With spear in hand
Gliding on an ice floe —

No matter to the grisly details,
Skull as anchor, blood captured in mid drip
In thinnest, blackest ice arresting his fall
sure footing betraying him high in the tree limbs.

Hot water bucket in hand
I play Zamboni
With black Glad bag shroud,
A Hearse ride
To the trash can.

 

SHADOWBOX

Trapped in a box pencil-sized dots for air,
Echoes confusing in their reverberation,
I mime the dimensions everyday
A puppet in the shadowbox of life –
Within, I pull the strings watching the dance
My smile hideous between whiskers and teeth.

In the coldness of winter, burning my nostrils
Each breath is proof of my escape –
Cut off in traffic and cheated at the counter
I am the real me, at least the me
Carved onto my gravestone – someday –
Churning out a paycheck every two weeks.

My friends, I am still alive and dreaming
Dredging up old fantasies and desires –
In my mix and match mind
Piecing together the quilt of my disguise,
Hiding my heart from the vampires,
And writing letters to the walking dead.

 

ELSEWHERE

Shadows are long on high sun days –
Crinkly crimson gold leaves paint an October day
Fauvists would have little trouble depicting.
The mood soft, still but rumbling, like zoo attractions;
Slowly the shadows mill about, conversations muted
Innocuous – some just stare
Smoke curling away by the tiniest of breezes.

I stare back anger like a red aura seething –
Leather, chains, dark clothes somber faces ghost walk
Occupying space but just passing through –
Blue skies yellowed, everything aged like a spry old man.
Shades of gray is what we are:
Gathering, departing, aimless;
But, sometimes the day is warm, water cool
Waiting for the bus to come and go elsewhere.

 

READING BILLY COLLINS

rummaging down at the hobby store
ebullient proprietor quips
of wives and retail prices —

with excited brushwork, she flew
avian caricatures over steel highway
and we zoomed back towards the city —

backyard pool, all 8,000 gallons
awaiting appropriate summer days
of Orcas, swimmies and laughter

500 lbs. is a lot of pretend
sandcastles fragile in the wind
rock moats scavenged from the garden

we transformed a forgotten yard
with trees, berries, and cedar fencing
ant engineers giving their approval.

 

MINUTIAE

Empty my brain

Of small details

Lest I sink

Into a miasma

Of minutiae –

 

ENCORE

Pine St. lined with elms
a sea of crowded
yellow waving hands
awaiting an encore

on green grass
raked away
in the cold and wet
of Halloween.

 

VACATION TO THE BIG CITY

She liked to pretend she lived there
To shed mundane living space
In foreign ports of call –
A temporary neighbor.
In corner stores, bakeries, cafes
A stool in the local pub
Here she finds her vacation
Costumed in the customs.