Three poems

Malicious December

The engineer of unpleasant surprises
installs the nose I like
on a hundred people
named Popov.  The group consists
of a bored madman.  His eyes roll
one of my favorite mannerisms
back to 1949.  My immediate reaction
is in my safe with me.  I return to
anonymously conspiring against
my tears.  I won’t rest until Popov
is a large tire factory
ramming into my face.

Comrade Corpse In Exile

In this bucolic landscape
sketched in sweat, the cows
unmilk themselves. Summer
stalls and the mower rusts
beneath a clear blue sky
filled with loud holes. You
wash the black dog white,
dry off in the rain, laugh
or remain silent.

Doors are broken down
and windows are shattered
by a solicitous hand.
An orgy of decency
is stopped in time
and the hour idly cooks down
what’s left to bitterness.

I see your face before me,
eroded by years of rain and
melting snow. I screw
in three hooks and climb
into your left ear. An obsolete
pencil is sticking out of your breast
pocket. You need to jab it
into my sleep, the opening
eyes of tomorrow.

Unshakable Fists

The curse of trophies.
Each morning, the mind’s emergence.
Denouncing the tarnishing body, a victor.
Shall I convene a resentment?
Mine was an old-fashioned upbringing  
Crisscrossed by footpaths                      
Welded to others.                                    
Cozy niche, thing of the past,
I can see you seething
As sleep informs on you
Over the phone, over the signature
Wings of a dove warming itself
On the barrel of a cannon
In the post-historical movie
Looping through your dreams.
No one left, standing.

—Ron Czerwien, Madison, WI