Folk Art • Southern Artistic Expression
40 oz to conformity
Susan Jane Goldner
“Rat tat tat, ” storm winds at your door,
Harmonies of nature
Parade across the floor
Valiant in this
Contempo façade of talent.
Delineate versefrom dredged-up seeds,
Timpani drums accolade the defunct beat.
G sus jazz chordsthump the Jesus divide,
‘pocalypse fads like Manhattan shoe lines.
Sweetest sunshine stocks the drain,
Schlepped out by Mexican farm maids
Still-guzzling the ruse of forsaken muse.
Emotion as common as banal as imitative
As bought-regrets at the liquor federation;
Teenagers file with their papered ones:
“I’ll have a 40 oz of Olde English, bums.”
I taste a liquor never brewed
I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!
Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.
When the landlord turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!
Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!
Ode To Wine
wine with purple feet
or wine with topaz blood,
wine, starry child of earth,
wine, smooth as a golden sword,
soft as lascivious velvet,
and full of wonder,
never has one goblet contained you,
one song, one man,
you are choral, gregarious,
at the least, you must be shared.
At times you feed on mortal memories;
your wave carries us
from tomb to tomb,
stonecutter of icy sepulchers,
and we weep transitory tears;
your glorious spring dress is different,
blood rises through the shoots,
wind incites the day,
nothing is left of your immutable soul.
Wine stirs the spring, happiness bursts
through the earth like a plant,
and rocky cliffs,
chasms close, as song is born.
A jug of wine, and thou beside me
in the wilderness,
sang the ancient poet.
Let the wine pitcher add to the kiss of love its own.
My darling, suddenly the line of your hip
becomes the brimming curve of the wine goblet,
your breast is the grape cluster,
your nipples are the grapes,
the gleam of spirits lights your hair,
and your navel is a chaste seal stamped
on the vessel of your belly,
your love an inexhaustible
cascade of wine,
light that illuminates my senses,
the earthly splendor of life.
But you are more than love,
the fiery kiss, the heat of fire,
more than the wine of life;
you are the community of man,
translucency, chorus of discipline,
abundance of flowers.
I like on the table,
when we're speaking,
the light of a bottle
of intelligent wine.
and remember in every
drop of gold,
in every topaz glass,
in every purple ladle,
that autumn labored
to fill the vessel with wine;
and in the ritual of his office,
let the simple man remember
to think of the soil and of his duty,
to propagate the canticle of the wine.