W. M. Lobko



All my pasta must resemble trumpets!
But as nobody lines the streets to hear me,
that makes any recent unrest moot,
the sociology of the chassis
as revealed by the firebomb
a matter for PhDs
nobody reads.
I shit you not I planned
something else, a poem
about cartoon doorways
drawn on what you thought was rock,
& is, but not if you’re oblivious.
All I wanted was a bowl of oboes
before they soundtracked the ritual
that kickstarted the chaos again.
All I want for Christmas is last Christmas
& a more obedient genie, one
willing to collapse
to a taste
so the state
can commission a piece
from any remaining orchestra members
that does for a grandiose balcony
what cartoons did for human movement,
exaggerate & simplify,
goggle-eye & slack-jaw,
pacify our elevated gestures
by looping them, a sound bite
more like a pill
we can pop without water.
All I wanted was a little violin.
My grandparents lived through twelve revolutions
& all I got was this lousy box-set
of drum-beats. To me,
rotini resembles bacteria,
which is partly why I love it. The music
replicates like an idea. I wanted an anthem
I could pantomime for my family
while the pots boiled over.
Eating & thinking
interfere. At last I feel wobbly
enough to be whipped at the wall
where I stick, I speak volumes.


W. M. LOBKO’s poems, interviews, & reviews have appeared most recently in Hunger Mountain, RealPoetik, LEVELER, & Boston Review. New work is forthcoming from Seneca Review, Slice, & The Literary Review. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He holds an MFA from the University of Oregon & currently teaches in New York, where work on his poetry manuscript Kin Anthem & his novel The Quick Brown Fox doggedly continues.


Read more by W. M. Lobko:

Hunger Mountain: Interview, 2 poems
Kenyon Review: Interview & a poem
La Fovea: 2 poems