After almost a decade of working as a freelance photographer in Europe, Maurice Oliver returned to America in 1990 to work for the Los Angeles Times. Then, in 1995, he made a life-long dream reality by traveling around the world for eight months. But instead of taking pictures, he recorded the experience in a journal, which eventually became dozens of poems. And so began his desire to be a poet. His poetry has appeared in The Potomac Journal, Circle Magazine, The MAG, Tryst3 Journal, Eye-Shot, Pebble Lake Review, Wicked Alice, The Surface, Word Riot, Taj Mahal Review (India), Stride Magazine (UK), Dandelion Magazine (Canada), Retort Magazine (Australia), & online at thievesjargon.com, girlswithinsurance.com, unlikelystories.org, subtletea.com., interpoetry.com (UK), kritya.com (India), blueprintreview.de (Germany), and elsewhere.
He currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works as a private tutor. His poetry blog can be visited at:
A Conversation With Abu Ghrib
OK.OK. On a good day ice tumbles in a milk-punch sky by some
back door gone but not to Florida. Life's a greenhouse leather mute
frayed around the hidey-hole. Varicose is a pair of boxing gloves. Thin
is the slice a sawmill makes. A few call it misconstrue while others say
its a unison of null. Either way, expiration is a pink-cheeked dirt bike
with a widow boom-box playing Bach. And if you're really lucky, you
can dig-up a Katherine Hepburn hello or the tail-end of a bow-legged
slogan rhymed on the tip of Ray Charles' sunglasses. Personally, I
prefer lady marmalade on my heating pad and try not to ever allow the
smell of ham burning comfort me. My philosophy is: working nine-to-
five only gets you December's breath in a scallop shell so just to be
safe, leave the porch light on.
& A Smudge At The Core
What's lost I hold nameless. Still, the dreams come later:
-A circus bear that snows fifteen inches.
-The whole day of Saturday straining at its leach.
-Several cocoons sleeping in baby bassinets.
-A Middle Eastern theme wearing an exotic restaurant.
-Sex that only makes us seasick.
-Light bulbs designed to terrorize a boarding-school.
-One full narrative hand-cuffed to a bike rack.
-The complete set of the rope burns of Majorca.
-Top-heavy igloos rowing down the Amazon.
-The perfect storm revived by a defibrillator.
-Vast tropical terrain covered-by rich dark upholstery.
-A mouth of flawless teeth slingshotted to death.
When Even Solitude Is Terminal
Don't get me wrong - let me explain.
You see, night is the last known address. Furthermore, eating
crackers in the dark doesn't mean a dumbshow can flicker like
a candle quick enough to sniff the hypodermic girl. Most towns
simply out-grow their peep holes. Others become as innocent
as a stain on the Greyhound seat. Either way, spit is still a vital
part of chewing or chicken is the farmer on the side of the road.
It's hard to tell the difference, so the live audience must wait for
the long arm of the law to poke fun at dry dreams using several
starched bibs that bark back at the stray dog. Is all this a bit
confusing? Wearing red shoes helps. And if you add one more
atom to the experiment you can slosh through the monster mash
to a spot that offers a perfect view of which ever malcontent
happens to be in a bird cage that can sing. Wanna better look?
Stories From A Metal Mouthpiece
1. Honey For Junk
Heaven arrives a day late and a dollar short but
still manages to bring everything we need for the
stage props. The whole day is Saturday straining
at its dog leach or spontaneous sex only leaves
us seasick. And so build the obsolescence in.
2. Third Floor Unread
Maybe it starts with a jar of orange juice with the
seeds in it and continues to a point where the
knife spreads cream cheese on ordinary crackers.
Then two weeks later, you never see the surgical
procedure on TV again. I use my own bullet. She
uses a plastic fig leaf as the blind dog watches.
Events, Best Described As Anonymous
I return to yesterday and the room still looks the same.
She shows-up half-past the future dragging a tropical island
with a pine overcoat across one arm and a gray bucket not
even half-full. My skeleton shrugs. My dung beetle points the
the way as stars pull back into their holes. By now, we both
are victims of identity theft. The Midtown shop for gentlemen's
clothes is a ninety-nine cents store open till ten. Everything
seems forever if viewed from a three-way mirror. But we can
remember when the world was a lot clearer. Then too, maybe
it's better this way. I mean, at least now we can hold-up just
about any conversation at gun-point and still be able to get
a good night's sleep, even if the words have angles like
cranes and the power to pull down the heaviest weight from
what use to be a star-dusk sky.