Two Poems By James Fowler

High Praise

So when I make like she’s some bitchin’ tent,
or if I go, her soul’s a righteous pole,
don’t mean no disrespect: I’m down to camp
is what, and she’s all like bacon at dawn
and trout at night, that tent pimped up just right
to keep out bugs, raccoons, and other punks.
She’s into flyest things, from Persian tats
to anime. You jones to bungee jump,
or skinny dip, or shoot some mad halfpipes
in inner tubes, and she’s all up with that.
She’s freaky fun, but stops at bogus junk
like doin’ shots while gunnin’ motorboats.
She keeps it real and dope, I guess I mean,
and keeps me jazzed to tweet a crush supreme.

(Editor's Note: "High Praise" is a parody
 of Robert Frost's "The Silken Tent".)

River Luncheon

after Renoir

With talk, with wine, with love the day seems charmed.
A breeze idles with sails and lacy frills.
One sips and twirls the stem, thinking no harm
 
To speak romantically in pairs or more.
The words are warm and half-sincere: they brush
Rodin’s nudes, bourgeois fear, scarred matadors.
 
Not all are so engaged. The brawny gent
Displays a thoughtful side against the rail.
His girl meanwhile coos nothings to her pet.
 
Perhaps the top hat and the smoking youth
Cannot agree on Baudelaire or such.
What then? Accede before that bowl of fruit.
 
Drifting with chance companions means a free
Expense of everything from francs to self.
Fine carelessness plies best upon the stream.

James Fowler teaches literature at the University of Central Arkansas. He is author of the poetry collection The Pain Trader (Golden Antelope Press, 2020).  His poems have recently appeared in such journals as Futures Trading Magazine, Cave Region Review, Elder Mountain, Lullwater Review, Aji Magazine, Evening Street Review, Westview, The Gyroscope Review, Cantos, U. S. 1 Worksheets, and Dash. He has pieces forthcoming in Transference and The Poetry of Capital.

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