What Language
J. P. Dancing Bear

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What Language, by J. P. Dancing Bear


What Language Copyright 2002 by J. P. Dancing Bear

>  Read a review of "What Language" at The Adirondack Review
Poet Bio
J. P. Dancing Bear

Sample Poems
Jesus in America
Following Orpheus
Movie House
Smokers




Poet Bio

J. P. Dancing Bear, photo by C.J. Sage photo by C. J. Sage

J.P. Dancing Bearís poems have appeared in hundreds of publications around the world including The Clackamas Literary Review, Borderlands: The Texas Poetry Review, Ellipsis, and The Mid-American Poetry Review. He is the former editor-in-chief of The
DMQ Review (formerly Disquieting Muses), owner of Dream Horses Press, the host of Cupertino public radio station KKUPís weekly poetry program "Out of Our Minds," and an advisory board member for Poetry Center San Jose.



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Poetry


Jesus in America

He stands on the corner
of Market Street
with hands agape at his sides.
Each tear from his eye reflects
the cityís starvation.
He opens his doors, the robes
of his church,
to reveal the neon heart
blinking through its thorns;
he looks up the huge golden arcs
of fast food reaching for heaven
from across the street.
He is the bun of God,
the cola of deliverance.

Copyright ©2002 J. P. Dancing Bear


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Following Orpheus

In this city of ruthless music
it isnít easy to wade
through the markets and back alleys
following the faint plucks of a lyre
haunting as they are.

A trail of lovers stares after
the fading music and looks
as if each has murdered
with a broken gaze.

Copyright ©2002 J. P. Dancing Bear


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Movie House

I go to the movie house
with my mother
who whispers loudly
through the trailers.
She gossips about
actors, their sex lives.
Embarrassed, I look
around to see no one else.
In shades of silver,
bruised, cowering
children bleed black,
forced to work in silent
movies, spending
decades developing
an elaborate language
of symbols in time
for the advent of talkies.
The rattle of the projector
is maddening. A handful
of melted Milk Duds
turns my stomach sour.
Mother smacks
stale popcorn
soaked with imitation butter.
She gurgles the bottom
of her soda cup
with a chewed-flat straw,
picks at the kernel
shells between her teeth,
leans close and whispers see,
your childhood wasnít so bad.

Copyright ©2002 J. P. Dancing Bear


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Smokers

Thereís a guy in my office
who had a lung removed.
Every day at 3 oíclock
he rides the elevator
with an Orpheus complex
down to shipping & receiving

where he hovers with his fingers
twitching in their old ways.
He talks to the smokers
like heís still one of them,
moves a little closer
to the drags and puffs,
steals a lungful,
returns a familiar cough.

The folks around here
get nervous around him.
Itís as if they were talking
to the fresh undead.

Copyright ©2002 J. P. Dancing Bear


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