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Michael C. Ford: Three Poems

Michael C. Ford has been publishing steadily, since 1970 and credited with over 28 volumes of print documents. He’s been featured on approx. 65 spoken word tracks, since 1985, including National episodes from California Artists Radio Theatre productions plus four solo recordings. His debut vinyl {Language Commando} received a Grammy nomination [1987] and his book of Selected Poems Emergency Exits [1998] earned a Pulitzer nomination on the 1st ballot. His poetic narrative titled VIETNAM / PEACE CASUALTIES published online for November 3rd Club was nominated for a 2006 Pushcart Prize. His first CD document Fire Escapes; was a 1995 entry from New Alliance Records & Tapes. His 2010 document is titled 20TH Century Goodbye, the production being a collaboration with original music by the East Coast post punk alternative band Psychic TV. Hen House Studios has been promoting and marketing his CD Look Each Other in the Ears [2014]. That document, in both vinyl and CD formats features a stellar band of musicians, not the least of which were surviving members of a 1960s theatre rock quartet most of you will remember as The Doors. His recent volume of poetry published in 2016 by Word Palace Press is entitled Women Under The Influence.

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*****

A GRANDMOTHER REACHES DISTANTLY FROM ON HIGH 

It is too far to the side of night: how she
dreams now in her highest hours how
pitiful in her final sleep. It’s as if an entire

family’s funeral watch weeps in order to
give more recovery theoretically to her
thirsty heart. Weather which keeps us

safe in the sight and solace we refer to as
nature begins to fall with the force of a
snowstorm. However there is no snow no

bright no white no delicate no melting
things anywhere eventually disappearing
as precious as she has been. And you never 

really knew before this that there was any
place where she could go without taking
you along. Inside where a fireplace rages

a winter’s catch of relatives gives up her
warm ghost. Outside there is only the cold
cry of the rain.

***

IN HONOR OF CHRIS CONNOR

Lady blonde lynx our own skulls are
forever excavated in jazz sadness that hears
you sing Blue Silhouette and beginning to

die for the last time. Your harmonic hair
is science now lady and you are singing
Lullabys Of Birdland on initial Bethlehem

10-inch LP vinyl which hurtles earthwards
like a faulty jack-prop under a car as if we
choose to accept getting what’s left of our

musical sensibilities crushed again. June
Christy, Anita O’Day and now you all the
while the Chris Craft of your sentimental

obsessions rises in a mist on waves of a
modern bop ballad by Joe Greene because
somehow we knew it just wasn’t All About  

Ronnie. More it was about saving your jazz
bouquets from being nailed to a cross erected
by the false gods of American music and

planted in the vacant gardens MOR bubblegum
pop slop cultivates. It isn’t crosses it’s what
Holly Prado means, when she says: “losses.

Then, we know ironically, in order to find your
songs again we might quite, simply, have to
lose you.

***

THE ARTIFICIAL WOMAN AS ACTRESS

We become civilized, not in proportion
to our willingness to believe, but in our
readiness to doubt.      H.L. Mencken

                                          

You were the most incompetent pretender
imaginable. You were even doubly doubted
by two drunk boyfriends in a basement in
Pittsburgh. You had temporary nervous

breakdowns and cried over enough ex-husbands
to flood the Monongahela River. You slept with
a Bible under your pillow and placed demonic
angels under your bed like 1950’s Communist

spies. You’d be inclined to deposit all your secret
monies: at the same time, you conspired against
your naïve daughter embarking on her series of
secretarial sinking boats: all this, of course, just to

support your own set of evil travelogues. The way
a deluge of sewage fills a reservoir, your dense
emotional overload of what has always been
selfish and loathsome slips off Allegheny ledges,
lands like a light plane with shaven wings, then
ditches against dumb mountains, as though
inverted to more easily imitate moot points of
your unprincipled paranoia.

(Author photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher.)

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