Maurice Oliver

Counting The Minutes In A Glass Of Water

...until belly hobbles the wooden
clogs of pin-knife blues using

crutches to puddle over the
rain or mostly wet socks
exemplified by a life
hell-fired bent on

through frayed
apple spit in an effort
to tower the pants from tilting
or worst yet tripping over the fandango

of dead cigars with more ears than nebraska
and a mustache that's obviously been drawn-on.


Decembering Her Deaf Ear

"America", shouts talk radio.

But more often we listen as geese pass through a slate-gray sky
overhead. We lay in the tall brown weeds as they smother leaning
tombstones in a graveyard. We salute the serene appearance of
a Sunday stroll. "I think it would be perfectly OK to let my loony bin
be abducted by aliens", she confesses, as she writes a poem on
why she barks. "Well, I've always wanted to kick the library out of a
bunch of books", I reply, convinced that my master is totally invisible.
We speculate on the likelihood of a sniper being able to drag a bullet
by the tail. Scissors that can grow hair is one more example...

a bench that can press itself...
a bird that sings about free speech.

Chewing on the eraser of her pencil.
Cutting out ideas with a razor blade.

And after we agree that large ears are a sign of delinquency we try
to see if we can bring a couple of eggs to maturity under our arms.


The Secret To A Great Lip-Sync

...or in anticipation of
a treat home hurries the
steel-toe shoes to pot
lick a ride on your tongue
I beg. Or truth be told, the
delights of being safely
tucked in the roof of your
mouth and topple up the
stairs to our bedroom. A
candle flickers and the gull
plays voyeur on the window
ledge as the moon slips in &
out of clouds once it's stripped
down to its underwear.


After spending almost a decade working as a freelance photographer
in Europe, Maurice Oliver returned to America in 1990. Then in 1995
he made a lifelong dream reality by traveling around the world for eight
months, recording his experiences in a journal instead of taking pictures.
And so began his desire to be a poet. His poetry has appeared in The
Potomac Journal, Circle Magazine, The MAG, Tryst3 Journal, Eye-Shot,
Pebble Lake Review, The Surface, Wicked Alice, Word Riot, Taj Mahal
Review (India), Stride Magazine (UK), Dandelion Magazine (Canada),
Retort Magazine (Australia), & online at, thievesjargon.
com,,, (UK), (India), & (Germany), and elsewhere. He
currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where he is a private tutor.