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Miles David Moore

Miles at the Writers Center, Winter 98-99 Miles David Moore, twice a Jenny McKean Moore scholar in creative writing at the George Washington University, Has performed at many venues, including the Library of Congress and the 1993 Poetry Slam in San Francisco. His poetry has been published in, among others, New York Quarterly, Poet Lore, National Review, and The Washington Post Magazine. He runs the monthly open reading at the Iota Cafe in Arlington and is the administrator of the Word Works Washington Prize. His recent book, The Bears of Paris, includes an excellent series of poems about a character called "Fat Slug", the poster boy for the low self-esteemed. The Bears of Paris is available from The WordWorks, Box 42164, Washington, DC 20015, $10 + $2 postage and handling, or you can order from Amazon.com or any bookstore.

contact Miles at: miles3855@aol.com


He materializes from the camouflage
of President’s Park, and weaves around
the Treasury Building’s wrought-iron fence,
his sneakers kicking a soft-drink cup.
A ponytail trickles from the back of his helmet
and down his battle fatigues. His knapsack
has a ponytail too – fluorescent orange
cord, dangling to the sidewalk.
FREAK ALERT! Fatslug shifts into warp-speed
to get past this idiot. But as he race-walks
by, Fatslug sees an unsteady finger
pointing at him, and hears a voice:
"Before you go, I want you to know
that the man behind you
is the death-crow.
And the man behind him
is the life-flow.
And the man behind him
is the hedgerow.
And the man behind him
is the rainbow.
Remember this. Go slow."
Fatslug roach-scurries across the street
to where the Washington and Willard hotels
exchange stock-market tips. Pregnant rain clouds
pool their gray bellies, and baby trees
shudder. Street vendors with indecipherable accents
hawk Redskin sweatshirts at passers-by
who mutter secrets to their shopping bags.

[From The Bears of Paris]

by Miles David Moore

Dorfbag. Crelmchorm. Kurplipsia. Zort.
Milgafnia. Gzurzgliag. Rgrgrgrgrg.
This is the language that comes unbidden
to Fatslug as he slogs the concrete furrows
of city streets, an ox
harnessed to an urban plow.
It comes as a reaction to blankness,
a substitute for screaming obscenities.
He rides the subway, and thinks zmuglumpf.
He listens to his boss, and thinks vlilvlilvlilv.
He sits alone at home, and thinks oodgast kurpriftriaft.

Fatslug dreams of plastering manifestos
across the cities belligerent walls:

Celvnok xorfel hubran terpagmok plaz
fleegblatz! Jilkania egmorpia orgorg –

He laughs at the thought of passers-by
trying to comprehend the declamatory anguish
of a language incomprehensible even to its author.

It isn’t fear of jail
or printing costs that keep Fatslug
from performing his revolutionary act.
It is, rather, the danger of delivering
your dreams into the hands of the public,

so Fatslug, robbed of his private poetry,
would slog through the concrete nimorks,
farbzart hitched to an urban glink,
bereft of all but the real words
that break occasionally though his chatter,
like sponge. Clam. Nerve. Nude.
Shit. Art. Bread. God.

[previously published in Sulphur River Literary Review]

Fatslug is MAAAD
by Miles David Moore

those stupid people at the stupid
supermarket have a stupid
RAILING up so he can’t take the
STUPID cart to the STUPID car
and has to drive around to the entrance
out unattended where some stupid WINO
can STEAL it or put his PAWS on it

and now some STUPID woman is parked
in the STUPID middle of the STUPID road
shooting the STUPID breeze with her STUPID friend
what else can Fatslug do
but L-A-Y-O-N-T-H-E-H-O-R-N

and the old man
hobbling down the sidewalk
jumps at the sound of the horn
turns around
looks at Fatslug as if he’d shot him

and slowly, slowly shakes his head.

Fatslug in the Fourth Grade
by Miles David Moore

"Hey FATSLUG," yells Fat
Sandra, surrounded
by her harpy cronies.
"There’s a new girl here
who wants to meetcha!"

The harpies seize
Fatslug and claw
by hideous claw, drag him
over to where the pale
new girl fades into the wall.

"Hello," he says,
holding out his hand.

The pale girl cringes
as from a gargoyle.

Fat Sandra’s laughter
resounds through the centuries.

[From The Bears of Paris]

Copyright © 1999. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Duplication of this poetry and/or art without permission of the author/artist is forbidden under copyright law. Please ask permission if you wish to use for non-commercial purposes
  Big Cats in Snow Tuesday, July 11, 2000