Wess Mongo Jolley


Wess Mongo Jolley is a poet and poetry promoter living in Vermont.  He produces and hosts the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel podcast (http://performancepoetry.indiefeed.com).  His work has appeared in Pank, Off The Coast, and in the Write Bloody Press book The Good Things About America. Audio versions of his poetry have been featured on the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel, and Cloudy Day Art. He can be found on the internet at http://mongopoet.com, and at mongo@indiefeed.com


Four Poems (November 20, 2009. Issue 11.)

Inappropriate Analogy Haiku

Life with you is far
            sweeter than water sports with
a diabetic


Agent Rex

My dog is an anarchist
                  who slinks home at night
            with shame dripping
                        from his muzzle

His eyes have become hard
                  and glassy
            his coat tattered from midnight
                        desperate close range
                  combat training

My dog is an anarchist
                  and no longer trusts his food
            he uses the cat
                        as his taste tester
                  she doesn't see the danger
      so for now he lets her live

My dog is an anarchist
                  and keeps coded lists
            wrapped in plastic
                        and buried in
                  our houseplants
      My dog stares hatefully out the window

waiting for secret signs
                  messages hung in trees
            (the tide has turned
                        be ready
                  you'll know when
      to get out)

My dog is an anarchist
                  and his collar has grown far
            too tight it chokes him
                        when we walk
                  he stays a pace behind now
      and his eyes never leave my thumping heels

My dog is an anarchist
                  and I no longer trust his bark
            his plans are nefarious
                        I know
                  and had I the courage
      I'd stop his midnight wanderings

I would not give in
                  to his threshold stares
            midnight plottings
                        and the cold judgment
                  in his eyes

My dog is an anarchist
                  and the cat and I know we live
            only because we are still
                        of some use to him

And we pray that
                  when the revolution comes
                he will lead us out of the city to safety



You say
            you don't like poetry
            don't want to hear it
            just never got it
            and I swoon because
            your air in my lungs
            wants to congeal into words
            birth verses composed of
            mingled spit
            from two tongues
            that nose playfully in the rain
            stanzas of falling sweat
            strophes written with a single finger
            on flesh not touched
            not this way
            not like this
For the motion of your quivering
            toes by my ear
            is poetry
            the stillness of your
            open lips
            is poetry
            the curve of your belly
            in the candlelight
            under my hand
            is poetry
And maybe you don't like poetry
            because you are poetry
            iambic hips birthing
            rhymes that spit so hard from you
            they become gang bang graffiti on my headboard
And the two syllables of your name
            I speak over and over
            into the candle sweetened air
            are the alpha and omega
            of what it means
            to be alive
            love is only a word
            it is the shortest poem ever written
            and it is the one that contains
            all others
But you say you don't like poetry
            so I will let you stop
            my tongue with yours
            let my voice go hoarse
            be content to rest
            in your silence
Just ask and I will gladly still my pen
            and never write
            another verse with your name
            but please oh please
            just now just this once
            then never again
For tonight in this bed
            at this late hour
            as we move slowly with your
            rhythmic cadence
            consonants sharp and vowels round
            raw dangling syllables
            and stanzas of blood
You don't realize
            that it is you
            that has become the poet
            you that speaks in cries
            which crystallize and become
            two primal words
            whispered over and over
That simplest verse
            uttered again and again by lovers
            since we first found our voices
            the purest poetry
            and the most complete prayer
For if love is the shortest poem
            then this is the one we will live by
            an entreaty to me or to the gods

            don't stop
            don't stop
            don't stop


Urban Dogs

Urban dogs
can find no dignified
place to shit

Urban dogs squat on street corners
and cracked concrete sidewalks
their owners distracted
watching blankly
plastic bag in hand
at the far end of the leash

Urban dogs must get along
in the sandy dog run
in Washington Square
dobermans and poodles pugs
and beagles must play together nicely
their territorial instincts
repressed and quivering

Urban dogs have nails worn short
and paws grown calloused from
sidewalks and broken glass
or their claws grow long in pile
carpet gazing out of penthouse windows

Urban dogs watch the birds in Central Park
and wish that they too could get away
for the weekend