Richard Newman


Aliens Respond at Last to Earth’s Messages!

We drink Bud Light and laugh at your late TV:
the eight-ball eyes and giant broccoli heads
you give us, the 50’s household appliances
you have us zip through galaxies in – as if
your race could possibly imagine what
lies beyond your rudimentary heavens.
But what never fails to make us squeal and say,

"Aw, look how cute!" is when you try and see
yourselves through our unblinking eight-ball eyes:
dogged by hate and fear and greed, some slim
assumption of nobility or act of love
always saves you in the end – as if
you fathom what your sticky hearts are made of,
as if something in your imagined heavens cares.


A Vampire Laments the Loss of His Reflection

Unlife is difficult when you’re a dandy
and can’t register the faintest reflection.
Pre-undead days, nothing came nearer perfection
than my mirror – me, my own eye-candy.
Ah, how I brought the drabbest puddle to life.
My surface outshone on a given summer day
the classiest Marshall-Fields window display.
I’d fix a misplaced hair in the butter knife.
Now, though I am ageless, I grow old,
invisible as death. I’m left to seek
in my victims’ eye the beauty they behold
before I suck the ruby from their lips,
devour the apple-redness from their cheeks,
and drain them down to their wilted fingertips.


The Fly Says Grace

I've started praying before all my meals,
praying I could finish this plate of shit
before my wife gets a whiff and swats me.
Not far from here, in a lab, a house fly
buzzes along airwaves of NPR,
slurps golden foam from instant soup, nibbles
a Power Bar, and splices salmon genes
to tomatoes, spider spinnerets to sheep,
and unblinking fish eyes onto rat knees.
Our kids spam us all with crappy poems.
My wife joins book clubs. We are all of us
pests. The fall rain slaps against the storm glass.
I yearn to dry up in a window sill.

O Lord! I gather to thy world's wounds!