Poet's showcase

Phlegm
By Sarah Ruhlen

My heart is a warthog
rooting for grubs in the forest of my ribs.
In the morning it grunts at the sun
ascending the ladder of heaven
and snarfles beneath my lung
for a bit of leather breakfast.
In the day it finds a fence of rock
crumbling, but insurmountable.
It paws at the stones
hoping for rotten apples.
It shrugs. It moves on.
In the evening it burps contentedly
at the rising of the moon.
The angels do not kiss it to sleep
for it has already rolled
in the excellent mire of my stomach.
It snoozes caked in cooling mud
all fours in the air.

Rooms
By John Mark Eberhart

I sit bewitched
by scattered objects.
Books of stamps,
bent paperclips.
Dime store mysteries,
their pages torn.
And dust bunnies.

I could hire a cleaning woman
to sort, dust, wipe, sweep, dispose.
Or a semiotician
to think, nod, frown, sniff, declare.
Depends on what I want:
Spotless floors or the meaning of life.

I pass the time
in scattered moments.
Dope hangovers,
afternoon cartoons.
Phone solicitors,
their voices keening.
Grit on my feet.

-- Sarah Ruhlen lives in Lawrence. John Mark Eberhart is the books editor at the Kansas City Star. Both writers will read their work at 7 p.m. Friday as part of the 2004 Lawrence Poetry Series. The series will present area poets every Friday in April -- National Poetry Month -- at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

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