Poems by Michael Kfoury

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Pic by Steve Johnson

 

 

Artistic Integrity

Our wedding album is going to be an album,
a debut L.P because I want to spend your father’s money
on something stupid just for the story to bore
our grandkids pulling at my knees.
Don’t imagine our own Abbey Road but
14 songs penned to smell your lover’s-sweat and champagne breath
filling the recording booth while I build calloused fingers- their rub
simulating the feeling of our binding kiss across my favorite mole adorning your face.
It’s a good excuse to be sappy singing with corny syrupy voices
when mixing a thousand demos and takes. Brian Wilson’s the limit,
so, would you like our vows in mono or stereo?

Listen, it’ll be a catchy thank-you gift because people obsess over music-
vinyl to stream, than that white dress or picture book
excavated 20 years hence from attic insulation.
“Wedding Album”- it’s a working title, but I’m not begging for something more
than to achieve a Gen Z goal. Hell, two student loaners
have nothing to fear or lose that even if we got divorce
there’ll be enough royalty checks and enough baggage
for a solo release.
So, what should our album title be?


 

Umwelt

It’s a worn dream, sneaking my dog into Chicago’s Art institute and,
suffering a bite, hold him up to the Old Guitarist.
Damn security, the leers of snobs, and woos of tourist groups,
his sniffs, yawns and licks are perfect critique because
a dog’s vision is a pallet of blues. There is no blush of rust,
no focus on a white picket fence-
just the laughing brush strokes of sapphire dyeing the smell of sex whirling
over cancer’s brittle shadows to complete their own blue Picasso.
I like to think he would recognize me- I strum guitar, but mirrors were never his strength
so I appease the feeling of regret by slipping into denim, hoping to be his friend.


 

Invisible Ink

I draw in my fingerprints atop the gloss of a desk
as it’s wider than a touch screen- free range.
There is no need to chase notifications and doom scroll as its loops snare
and drag me away from my forty-fifth submitted resume
into the whirling eye of a student loaner’s daydream.
My pores are a fount of holy oil-
there’s no skips or mistakes to be wiped away
though time can be better spent than
waiting for a cheap coat of dust to settle on my image,
I’m distracted to see what slick calligraphy love takes
when painted over your skin- renewing our primal covenant.


 

First Impressions

An acoustic melody
stretches between the M’s twin peaks while
my tongue flicks and picks
each letter a fix to steady the movie personality twitch
until I reach the K’s up curve- a chalice
Filled to the brim with the unorganized jokes and kinks anchoring my head-
wasted endorsing a pay stub at the bank.


 

Trauma Essay

I never apologize, I never explain
until I’m left playing connect-the-dots
with the mold sprouting on each box
holding at final rest my children’s books and Christmas toys
as reparations for how I made you human.
It’s a sign of weakness, searching for something better
knowing better is the enemy of good,
but maybe there’s an old country antique
if I claw through the scratched Jim Croce CDs,
or a beta personality packed beneath the Land Before Time DVDs
that would sedate this grave robber’s adrenaline
and reclaim my P.O.V.
If only I had a Magic Treehouse to return to my empire-
commanding Nerf Wars and
constructing statues of Converse shoes
instead of an algorithm of YouTube essays
auto played to cope with post graduate depression that did not wait to be inquired
But came for me in recyclable cards and checks
for I’m too old to pretend that I don’t know
how much you were my conqueror.


 

Gen Z

I wrote a poem between the blackholes of a doily,
above a sun colored tea drop stain
eclipsed in the shadow of a fruitcake
politely uneaten, awkward at the table’s end.
“Kings don’t live in ivory towers-
doesn’t look good for the story”.
Cheap words for chicken scratch,
but my rage subsided.


 

Winter Break

No one brave is coming to buy a Cinn Sugar donut or a cup of dark roast
    despite the Instagram post with three likes at most.
    Its a 15 degree siege still, ol red white and blue OPEN remains unfurled
    for I am manning the fort smelling of cleaing chemicals with
        no customer service voice or flirts-
        my work wife not scheduled,
            triggerhappywindexing the hours
            for some wrinkled gas money,
                maybe a political science textbook.


 

Hollow Body House Party

I tune every guitar I see.
Call it a favor or a house gift but
I can’t let a string be strummed soured by a bored child, even if
the instrument is just for show, to brighten a dead wall to far from the tv blue screen
with its sunburst body until spring’s next DIY renovation.
the chords I’m playing are nothing serious,
nothing for the cousins too sing along with or to
distract you from the rainbows swirling in your wine cup
but to build calloused fingers with each string pluck
that run over your aunt’s leather couch, my foxhole,
where I tune into a amber memory of my father
strumming away when I was a bored child.


 

About the Author

Michael Kfoury studied Political Science and Creative Writing at Suffolk University. An emerging writer, he has been previously published in the Venture Literary Arts Magazine and Stripes Literary Magazine. An old soul, Michael enjoys classic rock, classic movies, and classic literature.