Three Poems
Doug Martin

A Brief History of Fearing Sooner Weather

It came about first with maps and dictionaries. Men discovering the horses icebearded over with sin, when dancing was illegal. Someone rightfully mistook the snowbright dawn to be an epiphany and then entered the locked tavern. Another one decided to remember only the color blue. All over Chickasaw, Oklahoma, from the all-night-sex of constellations, a snow-song never played before seemed to be entering the scene.

Meteorologists with new year telescopes heard nothing of it. They telegraphed a northern woman to find the appropriate word between any new storm and another to stop the white monstrosities. She knew that a town not on the map places a certain responsibility on the elite ones from elsewhere.

She came by train. She set out with the forecast -- a snowflake, some breakfast, an adjective, before she swore death to all weather coming on schedule. She went with a dog into the Chickasaw, Oklahoma streets and waited fifteen minutes for the snow to change. It did, but no one believed her. They were so afraid of the prairie-snow they wrote her out of the farmer's almanac. They were so afraid of the snow and the truth. In the Sooner state, what was taught in school was not the truth -- the history book lies and those concerning the bedlining of clouds were one and the same thing.

Our New Folklore Lives

Listening to the dog radio down low out of Newport,
we thanked God for milk thistled-bourbon
while we played air hockey in the house,
the occasions of ghosts and Armageddon
not rare enough that year.

The common cold found Grandma a mess
with her lapped Wal-Mart Holiday catalogue,
and swearing up and down that the nightsky
had earplugs and was selling our secrets
on Ebay to the Iraqi insurgents.

My weather dog entered the room and kissed me,
and then I kissed you.
Someone at the tractor pull on Rural TV laughed.
As always, the Chemical Depot Spillameter made that racket.

When I asked Grandma if she liked
your "blonds are adored -- brunettes are ignored" t-shirt,
her look said she wasn't commenting
on an ongoing investigation.

I knew then and there we had worn-out our

In our big coats and with our big dreams,
we entered the snow and what was left of old Hoosier folklore.
We had turkey.
We had love all over our faces, it was that sad.

Earwitnesses to the Crime

When Yippie walked my snowniffy scarf to Florida
and the shrinks began eavesdropping
on iguanas and their drinking games,
I knew to have started planning
my wedding at three was a mistake.

I emailed
"Pardon is something you say
when you run into somebody"
her way.

But did she listen?

Hell no.

I went into a fit of drinking water.
I locked my thoughts inside my grandfather's CB.

Now, inside that machine,
it sounds like the birds are worried.
Hearing the snowy roses
jump from the sky
and miss my home and heart all together,
they are scared little bastards, I figure.