Issue 12 · 2009



Four Poems


  by Philip Byron Oakes





A Little to the Left, Then Over



A headcount of pedicurists paving the way

for a census of twinkle toes.  A blarney in

cowboy boots, floating candles as flares

in the footprint of an inferno.  You can’t

get there in snowshoes, wearing Carmen

Miranda’s chapeau to the wedding of the

glacier, with the rising of the sun to the

rank of lieutenant.  Sequestering the idiom

of shooting pains for a trial of euphemisms.

A pedigree of negations, trimming the

beard of the undeniable.  With the wrong

kind of food on a catwalk of barking dogs.

An epilogue to the chastity of an echo,

having found nowhere a safe place to








The Littleness of Nothings



Viral ear candies numbing the guardian of no.

Lollipop passing into long pants.  Better late

than whether stirred to golden brown eyes

on the ball.  Fruit baskets of ennui on the

ledge.  The missing components of getting to

where one foot seems lost.  A stutter in three

languages.  In full blossom diluted by

consensus as to the taste of broccoli.  The

expurgatives of soup sold as steak in the sad

primers of ghostly romance.  As said to whet

an appetite for knowledge.  The semantic

conquest of a myth of empty hats.  Headless

waste of vapors spun to fog in the fiction of

deep breathing.  The cost of cadavers to the

wedding party.  The ups and downs of the

market for meat as served on toast.

Vigorously anecdotal evidence.  A muddled

clarity of flight paths over proven ground.

The face behind the veil of having been








As It Turns Out



Atomic weigh stations coming

up light, on the molecular

level of education in tipping

the scale.  Cosmetically altering

scars of fidelity.  The feline

stroke of midnight, purring

into the everything that

darkness can be.  Broken in

places not places at all.  A

fixture of the fragmentary,

playing wholesome for a

view of the parade.







Blue Hymnal



A colloquial symmetry of death

and flowers easing the town

grid into view.  A sterile shovel

put to surgery stitching up one

last hole in the earth. 

Hyperbolic modesty imprinted

in stone.  Polished apples

taunting the metallic sheen of

high noon.  The slow melt

of asphalt into the mainstream

of whole cloth softening the

square with nostalgia.  The

evens despite all odds of

ever looking never in

the eye.









Philip Byron Oakes lives in Austin, Texas.  His work has appeared in numerous journals including Otoliths, Switchback, Cricket Online Review, Sawbuck and Taiga.  He is the author of Cactus Land (77 Rogue Letters), a volume of poetry. 


E · Poetry Journal