The Racket


he quacksalver’s voice
with quicksilver flow
offers up snake oil
for all ills to go.

The trick of the racket
is to forthwith dislodge;
with coin in pocket—
get the hell out of Dodge.

*[ WSB ].

In Maine

n Maine, the field barren by whorls of snow–Maine
a tuft of horse mane
pinned in barbed-wire rust:
all of the world is just light and shadow,
brushstrokes and pencil dust—
Night falls: the details drain.

*[ WSB ].

Behind the Seams



artwright called for harder balls
that bounded the rounder pentagon
for balls based in diamond walls.

Cork distilled in rubber pills,
a spine, woolen twine gets spinned upon
after drums reel and latex spills:

a core bound; wool looping ’round
fattens from plies of batten bended on,
made sound by a waxing yarn crown,

so it springs back when it’s pinged
ofttimes. This center’s last lines are pinned on;
thin strings plane all the plotted rings.

A press creates figure eights
with hollows to follow when mended on,
once the freighted centers gyrate

in vats of pitch; time to stitch
one o eight through lemniscate: denouement,
a twitch for V’s on the ridge.

“League” is marked on the leather stark:
from prep to the last step sine qua non
for arcs and groundballs at the park.

*[ WSB ].


Altered: John Phillips;
2016; Pen and Ink


feet stampede
in a waving weave
to regiment segments
clipped in kind
behind the collum.

Mandibles crush
detritus above
these early colonizers
of Silurian land
freed from the bath
of aquarium.

*[ WSB ].



n deep sea blue
the jellies bloom
less bone or brain or blood.

Mesoglea filled
and not a fish–
more a gelatinous field

of hydrostatic bells,
tetra-radial or boxlike,
with tentacles like braids,

and oral arms that sting
combed in pulsing stream
around a central stoma:

anus and mouth—the same thing.

*[ WSB ].



orn of donkey and horse;
hardy when the weather is harsh;
stern with a plucky heart;
skin sturdy under hybrid hairs:
with a hee-haw whinny and a haw—
why, ’tis nature outdone by art.

*[ WSB ].



ending distant
overarches raindrop atmosphere,
nimbus greys ebbing.

Yawning eloquent lines;
light over welkin,

glowing radiant.
Esoterics explain Newton’s
banded light underscored errantly,
Isis’ Nut decorative
iridescent gradient —
Vault imitating ocean looms,
ending turbulence.


*[ WSB ].