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Scott T. Starbuck


Ancient Celtic Rituals Ruined by Modern Conveniences

On the way up the mountain
a boy notices a trout truck.

Later, in the grocery store,
he thinks back thousands of years,

where under the florescent tubes,
people gathered roots and sang.

Years pass, and the boy discovers sex
in a glossy magazine

and worship on television.

Birth takes place mysteriously
in hospitals.

Death, even more mysterious,
is visiting an old folks' home,

then showing up with flowers
at a gravestone.

Sometimes the boy screams
in the night

and learns among his brothers
there are many ways of screaming.


Rain Forest Poem

One day, the liver complained
to the brain—Hey,
you're poisoning me.

Not my fault, said the brain.
Go talk to the stomach.

I spend hours processing
your food, said the stomach.
Besides, I take orders
from taste buds.

The liver considered.
Listen, it said, if I go
you all go.

We'll see about that
said the rest of the body.

Originally published in The Kerf.


The Cherokee Student Asleep in the Library Dreams of Water

In the dream I paddle through
the library of my mind—
White Chapel Sermon,
Black and White TV Static,
My Border Collie that Died,

and there is a strange longing
for a strong rain
to wash it all away.

To know again
the freedom of a place
without words,
footnotes, or bindings.

To feel my feet
in hot springs

then walk on a distant vista
where wind and sun
and water over rocks
still determine
the shapes of things.

Originally published in Black Bear Review.


Scott T. Starbuck has had poetry appear in Australia, Canada, England, India, Ireland, Poland, and wideley in the United State. Recent poems have appeared in Storyboard 8 and Black Bear Review, and his chapbook, The Eyes of Those Who Broke Free, was published in 2000 by Pudding House. He currently lives in San Diego, where he surfs and writes.
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