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 lifelong
dream reality by traveling around the world for eight months.
But instead of taking pictures, he used the same acute creative
energy to record the experience in a journal, which eventually
became hundreds of poems. And so began his ambition to be a poet.
His poetry has appeared online in ink-mag.com & retortmag.com,
and will appear in One Forty Two Magazine, Holy Ignorance, Eye-Shot,
The Surface, SlowTrains and Tryst3 Journal in Winter 2003-4.
He presently resides in Portland, Oregon, where he is a private
By six at night old trap doors give way
in my head as the present becomes a relic
that runs will like red granite liquefied
smelling of lavender in a guru robe
with the vacancy sign lit this solar plot
of rational cheap thrills hiccups twice
the smolders to an ultimate kind of blue
as thoughts whistle by like missiles
and are written later on scrapes of paper
once the temporary truce is made.
Haze horns in irony as seasons march through
releasing flocks of birds as sojourners
in molten feathers casting one pagan sheen
this official version of planned randomness
in a halo of heron of club-foot egret
all afield & afloat in rudimentary wings
that protrude like embossed insignia
are spread out for miles like a map
precisely pinned with destination points.
Suddenly dusk falls in big red drops
to scrape its ashy elbow on a violet gust
that blows in a black lit square on the hill
in fragments ruffling balleria faethers
that could easily mutiply into swans
before ducking into a kiosk badly bruised
which is when I op for real life adventure
& continue down the Champs Elysee with the
free movie ticket tucked away in my shoe.
I chew a whole pack of myself then shallow
outside a cafe srowded with canvas umbrellas
as life flashes like the eyes of a jeweler
fussed & crystallized in a smirk of gin
where goldleafed frescos appear to shine as
I use the handrail to crawl pass knicknacks
shattered along the way to martyrdom
then look through a gossiper's telescope
with no desire to question the virtue
of a skycraper or even a staircase.
Above the gree edifice of a knothole
where a corner or column lifts & spreads
an angel intervenes once lin all this time
carrying my voice ten miles on horseback
through pine forests & moony thickets
that filter blue in three-quarter harmony
allowing us to live in someone else's music
as the balloon glides lightly on the wind
with the plastic twisted til it shines.