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"Words' Worth" Poetry Readings

Poets at the Culture, Arts, and Parks Committee of the Seattle City Council.

Whiskey Breath by Dennis Wilken

Beauty is in the wish
That chokes on ancient fears
And drowns
In nightly whiskey baths.
Women, object of these ethereal desires
Crush the life of dreams
Domesticity has left
Untamed.
Gutted, the romantic men live on
Reading poetry to each other only girls can understand.


Ports by Dennis Wilken

Feelings, architect of motive,
Cheapened by words,
Hide behind any available mood,
However inarticulate.

What I want can never lie down
With what I say.
There is no bed wide enough
To contain the distance between desire and its interpreters.

We start as babes, screaming our wishes
Into the mommified aire, frightened
Only the first few times a substitute appears -
One loves the plastic nipple and the breast
Or one dies.


Dogdom's Murky Depths by Dennis Wilken

There, where thoughts are grooved
By instinct,
Sticks are chased off cliffs, out airplane windows
And during the fall
Ears blown back, tongue protruding,
The tail keeps wagging -
Splat.
Doggone.
The price of unconditional love
Starts very high and often
Brings you low,
Very low.


History by Dennis Wilken

A person who can't remember
Is doomed to do something
But for the life of me
I can't remember what the hell it is.


Chicago - Whose kind of town? by Dennis Wilken

Oblivious to the silver train flashing by
An old man,
purple skin shining like a doused eggplant
In the muggy May sunshine
Kneels
And picks through mud-stained
Garbage,
Looking for something to salvage
From a city
Perverse in its ugliness
Mean and past its prime
Famed broad shoulders
Running to brutal, stained fat.

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