Poetry: Selections from Damon Hubbs

1980s Love Poem
i. a line from Pretty in Pink
after hours
of post-coital
coiling, soft talk
like a run in a black stocking
pushing buttons
butterfly pose
to forward fold,
ass on my own head
in a Marinelli bend
balletic, fingering
the floral pink bedding,
wet breath in my ear
of the second
phone line
I just wanna
let them know
that they didn’t
break me
ii. a line from Duran Duran
talking, whispering
world without end
so much talking boys
in a rec room
like a station wagon
the pegasus
on the dartboard cabinet
as we stalk
the pages of Tiger Beat
talking, always
until we steal
whatever liquor we can
& straddle the line
in discord &
our new jaguar scent
on each other’s faces
iii. a line from Bret Easton Ellis
& the way
the acid kicks
in some
where unexpected
fates conspire, while we
in love & returning video tapes—
Total Video, on the other side
of the Dietz St. parking lot
now a spatial anomaly
of satanic panic & milk carton faces;
didn’t some college girl
get murdered here you say
another late
on our

Uphill Both Ways
she lived up there  
on Peebles Hill, off of East
         my sentimental education,
in a house of late afternoon
cigarettes & picture window sunsets
60s vinyl, her mother’s
folk collection
this is back
when you’d ride
a ten-speed
both ways
for the chance
to unhook a bra
years later, after
the hippie phase
she painted her eyes
like smeared synthesizers
& love triangled
with a Spanish exchange student
who wrote poetry
she left
not long after
we were married
         my sentimental education,
an irreconcilable
singing in her heart.

Cinder Blocks
the man
at the claw crane  
never runs out of quarters
the rest
of the mall
ran out long ago
now it’s just
the claw man &
a few arcade games
kiddie rides
broken & gutted
like cars on cinder blocks
one quarter, two buttons
up, across
time & again
the claw man is empty
& nobody’s there
to tell him
that unicorns don’t exist

fruiting bodies
‘Clean bar is a happy bar’
the prof sd, as if the scuffed oak
bartop mushroomed a bract of fruiting bodies;
we call him the professor
like he’s a Man of Letters
& not just an adjunct
to an adjunct at the SUNY on the hill
who’s tended third shift
at the Sip & dispensed word
backs neat long as we can remember;
‘listen,’ says the prof
thumbing the soda gun,
‘man takes a drink.
drink takes a drink.
drink takes the man.’
& you lk at him & say somethin’ like
‘on an all-inclusive vacation’
& we laugh & thrall
the day breaking asunder

Damon Hubbs is interested in leisurely games of tennis & perfectly moist coffee cake. His poetry has appeared in Book of MatchesLothlorien Poetry Journal, OtolithsScudRoi Fainéant Press, Horror Sleaze Trash, The Beatnik Cowboy, etc. He lives in New England.