Thursday, October 27, 2011

3 Poems by Net Poet Society poet John Milkereit


John Milkereit is a creative thinker and citizen of the world. He began writing poetry after taking a seminar on the poetry of Billy Collins in 2005 at his local church. His poems have appeared in Harbinger Asylum, Swirl, Poetry Revolt, the Texas Poetry Calendar and has been a juried poet at the Houston Poetry Fest, and the Austin International Poetry Festival. He also recorded several of his poems at Taping for the Blind. Pudding House Press published two of his chapbooks last year, and Paying Admissions was a Finalist-of Note in their 2009 chapbook competition. He is currently taking an acting class so he can memorize and perform some of his work in front of loud, boisterous audiences. During the day, he is a rotating equipment specialist at a Houston engineering firm.

John Milkereit will be reading his poetry with Net Poets Society at the Friendswood Public Library on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 7pm.

Love Poem

                            Poetry is…great for getting phone numbers --Wynton Marsalis

I would rather just make you a phone. Endless minutes
with a ring tone of that rescued kitten. Why don’t
I make you a phone that you can’t put down, which
also jams other callers. Why don’t I wear you a hard hat?
Calloused hands that want to help—handyman hands,
which make concertos of insurance and retirement
funds. Why don’t I wake up with a dirty hard hat
that gets an orchestra on coffee? Why don’t I wash
your dishes? Get Palmolive cleaning your losses, dry
tears, and laundry. Why don’t I make you silence?
Knowing when to say nothing, getting into jeans
and work boots to dig quiet holes. Why don’t I fill up
your noisy chambers with jars of pennies, saved-up
so your heart won’t wash that away, your mind
would dial me like a phone. Go ahead and ask if I
cook. I would make you tuna salad, chicken salad,
or even your favorite—egg salad. So now, look what
I’m getting you. How can you hate me?

--John Milkereit

Rotating Equipment Engineer
A rotating equipment engineer ought to land in a poem
because I love the surprise of him
entering a dimly-lit hallway
with his sack lunch
ready to say no to someone.

I enjoy his negating self, his I-don’t-build-anything
kind of job description.
What he actually does is a mystery.
One morning, his glasses could reflect from a computer screen
a motor data sheet or the news that a volcano erupted in Indonesia—

you would never know for sure. I’d want as many turns
in the poem as the pumps he specifies. Words and shafts
are traitors and dirty when the start button is pressed.
Parts spin out of control, taking limbs off their operators.
I reminisce about the days when he made more money

than a doctor, when building factories was a revolution.
His metal is so much like the sentence that takes so long
to get poured, and welded, and bolted into its shape.
Why not turn the result
over to the rulers of the world?

With a red pen mounted on his keyboard, he always waits,
ready to reject a test.
He can fly to a factory in a pair of steel-toed boots
to witness what is ready to ship. No matter what he calculates,
or whatever tools are hidden in his pocket, he is never finished.

--John Milkereit

Upon Hearing That the Poetry Festival Lost My Poem Titles for Their Anthology
and where exactly did they go?
Monkeys in the jungle who swing
high above your submission process
would know rather than the greased
pigs. Since you’re the red-faced web
guru who lost the titles, can you say
if the titles were caught in an ocean
by the jaws of a novel? Did they sneak
home with someone else, or do their
coats no longer fit? Are their hats too
worn and tired? I want to know if they
went up in a hot air balloon to lift
a child I don’t know. Surely they would
have announced any rowdiness or
jealousy. I demand notification if they
fled to a courthouse to change their words
and wished to relocate. They have not escaped
abuse because there has never been abuse.
If they fell from this rollercoaster ride
called Poetry, then it’s their own fault,
and who knows where they landed.
The ferris-wheel operator would know
if they lingered a little longer to kiss
while you weren’t looking. I want to know
of lost keys. I want reassurance that your
volunteers always had money for spotlight
batteries. If the titles were stolen like license
plates, surely, you issued an A.P.B. I want
to know you asked the cyberspace reception
lady at the front desk. You had better find
the titles—I’m near the end of a book
whose title I don’t remember.

--John Milkereit

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