Monday, April 4, 2016

Outsider Poetry: Richard King Perkins II

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.


You’re angry for a week
when we argue green grapes
versus red

how can anybody be so stupid
red are so much sweeter.

Like a cloudburst
you crush them in your hand
and puddle the kitchen floor

until the small pool finds a slope
and runs like a dark river
between us
for millions of years

Grease Poet

Carl the mechanic
was the first poet
I ever met—
livin' at home
takin' a few classes
at the local CC
I think us younger guys
in the neighborhood
kinda looked up to him
because he was sort
of a regular guy
but when he
came out cryin' one day
and showed us his
first publication
he sniffed that he'd
tried to show
his old man
what he'd done
and all the old drunk
could do was laugh
and drip snot
all over the pages
Carl said this was typical
of how people
treated poets
which was why I knew
I'd never be one
so I asked Carl
to pop the hood
of the Charger
and show me
the spark plugs
or something.

Fetish Robots

The bright world
stands over me
in earliest turmoil

bleaching greenery

strumming the brittleness
of sleeping sparrows.

Gone are the nights
when the moon drew down
upon us

a portal of ecstasy

lightning splitting
a black oak to the root—

where sensual statues
and fetish robots

moved across a chevron field

playing a game
that had no rules

but held deepest purpose

Pretending to Talk

He’s driving too slowly. The children know it could be that he’s just
pretending to talk on his mobile phone. The driver tries to wave the kids
to cross in front of him, but they won’t budge, won’t meet his eyes.

He tries to toss them a smile but it breaks six inches from his face.

The children are wary like we’ve intended them to be. They’ve seen
the flyers sent home from school; generic composites compiled from
the memory banks of guileless second-graders.

The driver gives a half-salute, makes a final effort to show he’s
a normal, decent person, not some evil stranger.
The kids, though, are still not buying it. His greeting is instead
interpreted as a beckoning.

The driver knows he’s one of the good guys. But he asks himself
why he’s not at work in the mid-afternoon, why he’s circled the school
a dozen times now when he has no business here and why oh why
has his cell phone been uselessly powered on for half an hour,
clasped to his face, chirping that it’s ready to die.

Standing in a Room

You are just standing
standing in a room
room that’s all white
white floor and ceiling
ceiling quite low
low enough to touch
touch a sitting fly
fly to the wall
wall to the floor
floor to the air
air is buzzing
buzzing with fly
fly is so black
black on so white
white like the wall
wall of your wailing
wailing to all
all of the damned
damned if you do
do or you don’t
don’t kill the fly
fly away fly
fly will die sometime
sometime or never
never a flyswatter
flyswatter is nowhere
nowhere in a room
room that is you
you are just standing
standing in a room.

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