Warm­ing Up

Prairie Fire - - NATALIE APPLETON -

1. Trum­pet

Brash bad boy

bring­ing a gan­der into bat­tle.

If your point’s a Ca­maro,

he’ll drive it home.

Tight-lipped, slip ships

to Sig­nal Hill.

Shrill. Brand the dizzy cat­tle

with bravado.

Dang it all. Don’t give a damn

where the spit may fall.

2. Trom­bone

Mar­ble maze,

hello? Pick up the phone!

Clown around New Or­leans,

you fizzy li­corice twist, you,

hook us on your fool’s er­rand.

Wan­ton faucet, yawn.

Let your stock­ing slip,

one-legged show girl,

let’s blow this joint,

and give ol’ bore­dom

the boot.

Golden gar­den hose,

grow and spawn!

Wind­shield-wipe the sky,

bel­low odes to longhorn sheep

and plum­bers.

Heroic flamingo, oh,

slide from your throne,

hoist your loopy trunk and blow:

meta­mor­phose us in

your mel­low me­ows.

3. Horn

Cathe­dral winds haunt­ing, labyrinthine.

A hunts­man holds up the ten­der moon

and snails spi­ral open. Ah, how the skirts

of lan­guid films spin gal­ax­ies into be­ing, plan­ets

whor­ling waves of vel­vet. Suave mid­dle child amid

hol­i­day hoo-ha, pour out your cornucopia.

Warm vanilla in pats of but­ter, smears of cream. Sus­tain us.

Sonorous, the rams mourn,

their breath lev­i­tates above the pines.

A mes­siah lets down his shroud.

A balm, abide.

Se­lah.

4. Tuba

Rum­ble un­der­wa­ter

con­so­la­tion.

Some days you got to go down

be­fore you can get up again.

Holy Jupiter, dust off

those os­ti­nato mush­rooms.

Bi­son-headed, you’re

no fuddy-duddy.

Rise and fall like a Goodyear.

A T-Rex lay­ing eggs

on the long march to the Gobi.

The hu­man womb echoes

land masses groan­ing.

Cav­ernous and grave.

Un­fath­omable.

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