Paul Corman Roberts: Four Poems

Beach Secrets

There’s exists a certain smell
Which may only be detected
One thousand miles offshore in any direction
But which reveals itself for a window
Of two minutes on coastal crow’s nests
Gathered above the open sanitation systems
Of Born-Again lighthouse compounds
Fronting for Pinochet’s addled pervs
& the late night guerilla maintenance
Of the palace on the far flung finger of jetty
Just before sunrise



This is
for real, life
in the margins

The secular rain
I love, though
direct exposure
to the open faucet
of sky would mean
lingering decay

In here
a price I am
only too willing
to collect
from the edge of

your reef secreted
and formed of ideas

An atoll of intellect
merely guarding the
borders of a feeding ground

Waiting for a season
an abstract reason

for risk couldn’t be more
clear in the post-humidity of
your window where in
your modern twilight scene
you’re seen



Do you know why candles are perfect?
Because when you squint at them
Just the right way
They look like the number one.
This one is made up of three components:
Wax, wick and flame.
Without these components
A candle cannot function
Therefore a candle cannot be.
The wax molecules in the candle
Look around to see only their fellow wax molecules.
And declare their sum total to be wax.
“We look like wax
We act like wax
Thus we are wax.”
But in fact they are a candle.
Someday they will realize this.
They will hear rumors of an impending flame.
When the flame gets close
The molecules will do things they had not dreamed.
They will start melting together with things that aren’t wax.
They will move at speeds thought impossible.
They will become less solid
And more fluid.
They will seek their own level
And become one with the flame
A candle cycle complete.
And if you think this poem is about candles
Then you’re still just part of the wax.


A Murder In the Strip Mall

The king and queen
Of Room 215
Everything strewn:
Varied shades of desperation,
Agendas ducking into
Back room charades
Counting out loud
Collateral obligation

The consumers have abandoned
The parking lot in their wake
A scattered murder gorges
At the afterthought buffet
A Smorgasbord of discard
Framed by ramshackle dreams
The duct tape convoy of
Hollow drive-train eyes

The murder returns tomorrow
For their annual disillusionment with
An aborted consumer holocaust
A new feast of bitter sweet taunts &
Mockery, the kingdom of 1000 years
Once more delayed some
999 years
11 months
And 30 days