Friday, April 26, 2013

I Put Away Childish Things

Talking Toy Soldiers

Farewell comrades in arms
feet affixed
snappy salutes, square-jawed goodbyes
dissolved in a saline nod
delivered drop by drop
bag flattened in the end
curled autumn leaf
clinging fast in a slack breeze.

Words were getting harder to come by then
milling on a slant mirror of packed sand
watching my childhood go out on a tide
festooned with scuttled crepe party favors.

Officially you were boxed
taped and stacked with honors dark
dank basements ago.
Unofficially missing in action
in Flanders Fields of lint
your final rasps
alone in some cobwebbed corner
bulldozed over the lip of a mass grave.

An American Legion Hall
empty except for me and a particle beam
of morning sunlight
boring through my beer
boring the bartender who bears
some slight resemblance to Efrem Zimbalist
talking to myself
itching for a touch
of solace in your frozen fighting stances.

Lordy lord natural selection
winnowed you down
over messy seasons  
comrades Hoffa-ed over in the sandbox
Hoovered up in the Kirby. 

When in the beginning
I created  
the heavens and the earth
spat in mud
stole a rib
begat My Dinner With Andre
from the remnants
of my Mattel Deluxe D-Day Invasion set.

I saw what I had made
it was exceedingly good
pitting one against the other
GI vs Kraut
Good vs Evil
Spy vs Spy
stilted dialogue
threatened by a rising flood
of predictable plotline.

You soldiered on
when words failed
in the fog of war
all silent on the Western Front.

Chicago Literati

Chicago Literati posts 3 poems by Dave Hardin:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Come blow your horn


Take it in
deep down in the lungs
one long easy pull when it comes around

now hold it
long as you possibly can
pass it on quietly without too much fuss

tempered with toe cramping
laughter shading to great heaving sobs

beet red face a mirror
angled toward sundown’s broken yolk

tarnished opening chords
all swelling strings and quelling brass

strike me
as rather odd
but then again only one measured

is allowed.  Lungs bursting
I cradle my horn and wait to come in on The One. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Scrum: The Prague Review

Scrum: The Prague Review: The Prague Review publishes Vigil on Monday, April 15, 2013.!vigil-by-dave-hardin/c1wb4

The Prague Review

The Prague Review publishes Vigil on Monday, April 15, 2013. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Leave nothing behind


No quart of homemade bean soup
turfed by a bonnet of accreted crystals
way, way back in the freezer
behind the chops
or a Third Place 4H ribbon
flattened to a fare thee well
between pages of Mary Baker Eddy
the armature of the also-ran
rendered ages ago 
into a dissipated cloud of cattle mist
threadbare Donegal wool sweater
crisscrossed with cabled bandoleers
a half-life of lanolin and sweat
hissing away through a cigarette burn
cauterized over the heart
a mournful country song on 45
pressed at your expense
with a loan from an army buddy
the mix muddy
B side a cover
Vaya Con Dios in one take
or a lost wax bust in bronze
of noted mathematician
Hedy Lamarr
coasters from the Drake
matches from the Bourbon House
a thin white wafer chipped
from the Elgin Marbles
if I’ve got the story right
the arrowhead
they dug from your shoulder
the crumpled slug
they gave you to bite on
a pâpier maché modal
of the Heartbreak Hotel
corked vial of water
from the River Jordon
the Keys To The Kingdom
the Song of Solomon
not even
the answer to last week’s puzzle.
You left little behind to posterity
only paltry leavings for poetry.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013



A globe would be nice
here by this open window
morning pushing in on the hip
of spring, warm from slow dancing
against the screen
straining the grating weave
sifting over the table top
settling on the milky lens of coffee
feathered in delicate drifts
around the outline of my hand
abruptly aloft in lazy flicks of the wrist
a vague wave
the robins might mistake
for unwarranted dismissiveness
viewed framed from the teeming lawn
unaware of the tilted globe
I’ve willed into being
unabashed in my illicit spinning
the blister of the Atlas Mountains
the scrambled braille of Micronesia
again and again and again
beneath the palm of my hand
Haiphong Harbor
hot on the heels of a sprinting Havana
the world in seamless rotation
on the table of a minor god
eyes closed  
waiting for you to come back around
finger poised and aching
above a small, blue planet.