O, For a Beaker Full of the Warm South




The palm trees are rowed

Like the green-glowing torches

Of a great blue hall,

  Like Atlas dipped

Headfirst in green,

Sick with envy.




Somewhere a siren sings its burning song,

And somewhere a car is on fire;


And, O can you taste the serpentine-belt burning,

Burned like the black rubbery flesh of a gas-station chicken.




And if I close my eyes,

Walk through the sifting smoke,

Between the beaded curtains of light, when I

Open, will I be somewhere else?


Is this sky the wallpapered ceiling of Atlantis?

I wonder what would happen if I climbed the tallest palm,

Put my ear to the roof.


If drive an ax through the sky,

Will I learn how to breathe?


Ryan Bollenbach is a poet attending the University of Alabama's MFA program. He believes burritos are the highest form of art. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Dialogist, Word RiotDark Matter Journal and other publications. Ryan is a reader for BWR and Sweet: A Literary Confection. You can read his media-cetric musings at What Great Larks