Yellow Mama Archives II

Rob Plath

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

the smallest feline is a masterpiece— da vinci/i hear my cat crying


by Rob Plath


i hear my cat crying 

in the little room 

where they’re taking her blood 

but i’m not allowed in 

& she doesn’t understand 

why they’re doing this 

holding her down

sticking needles in her hind leg 

stealing her blood 

but still she doesn’t scratch or bite 

doctor or tech 

she just cries 

& i think about how i used 

to violently vomit 

every morning 

for a year

when she was a kitten 

& how she’d push 

the bathroom door open 

tiptoe in 

& stand there checking on me 

& i want to run in there 

pull the needles out 

& pick her up & hug her 

& run to the car 

& never return 

i once read that centuries ago 

it was thought that tears 

were made from broken parts 

of the heart 

& i remember as my mother lay dying 

the blood that often trickled 

from her right eye 

like some myth about a statue of a saint 

in some tiny village somewhere 

& now as my cat cries 

& days later when on the phone w/ the vet 

as she explains about bone marrow biopsies 

& oncologists 

i don’t believe in lacrimal glands at all 

as wet threads of my heart 

rise up 

& collect in my eyes

no typewriter or ABCs necessary


by Rob Plath


often my poems are 

falling from the mouth 

of my old wooden 

schoolhouse desk 

that’s stuffed w/ them 

& if i’m not looking 

my cat will sink

her fangs into pages 

she’s my best critic 

& knows goddamn well 

that all this scribbling 

is such bullshit 

even the poems about her 

milk-white whiskers 

fanned out in moonbeams 

or her diamond yellow eyes

calmly blinking at me 

during a thunderstorm

she’d much rather i just sit w/ her 

my hands instead brailling 

the buttons of her backbone 

or rubbing her belly 

b/c she is it—poetry incarnate

my cat sleeps


by Rob Plath


w/ head turned 


curve of her 

closed eye 

a smile

it’s enough


by Rob Plath


the cat’s napping 

in an empty

brown grocery sack 

& i’m half 

in the goddam bag 

so to speak 

sitting in my chair 

my amber glass beside 

the busted buddha statue 

on the crooked little 

thrift store table 

& it’s enough to just look

at the pub lights 

shining on rainy pavement 

across the way 

& listen to car tires 

turning on wet streets 

slow peeling sounds 

like peace hatching 

out of its shell

crowbars & middle fingers


by Rob Plath


the morning after

the poetry reading

i walked out


in the august sun

stumbling thru the crowd

at an intersection

i accidentally kicked

over a homeless woman’s

change cup

i had nothing on me to give

i said sorry

it’s okay she said

then she told me that

my zipper was down

i looked down & she was right

so i zipped up & kept walking

down the noisy avenue

then two guys sitting against

a brick wall

said, fuck you, motherfucker

& i glared at them

then one said, it’s on yr shirt

& i looked down

& it did say that

w/a big middle finger

in the center

& i laughed

& they laughed

& i kept walking

the sun growing hotter

its long arms

like bright crowbars

against my skull

& what was left of my soul

a necessary poem


by Rob Plath


he wrote me a letter

about how he tried

to hang himself

on a bridge in winter

but the rope broke

& he fell in the icy river

& during his stay

on the psych ward

he read my poems

one of them being

“playing simon says

w/ death“

& he thought about

how you’ll be forced

to play the game

w/ death one day

w/ out yr own hands

tying knots

or feeding bullets

into chambers, etc.

& how it helped him

to decide to just

keep on keeping

the fuck on

until that bastard death

arrives some day

to play the game

that everybody loses

& this poem is

for all those now

& over the decades

who say i write

too much about death

& who don’t understand

that i’m writing to others

as well as to myself

to just motherfucking live

last gesture


by Rob Plath


one day death

will smack its

hand down

upon yr body

like a ketchup

packet on

a diner table

waiting to

be smashed

& yr red guts

will spray out

& you’ll be


just a wet stain

attracting ants

& death will pinch

its bone digits


bringing them up

to its lipless mouth

& kissing them

& then blowing

them open

a cold chef’s kiss

for yr sorry ass

carpe sanguinem


by Rob Plath


how can i seize

the moment

when existence is

one big horror flick

i suppose i can plug

my ears from

the terrible chainsaw

w/ the final rags

of my wings

gaze into the mirror

& graffiti some flowers

in blood on my skull

the antithesis

by Rob Plath

i’m watching a slasher flick w/ my cat
she’s stretched out full length
white mittens pointed at the screen
as an ax gets planted in a man’s skull
& the blood pours
& a woman unleashes a shrill scream
& i wince a little
while my cat just chills
humming a deep, ancient tune
her tiny rib cage gently rising & falling
thru killing after killing
scream after bloody scream
& in this moment i realize
she’s the antithesis of horror flicks
she’s the epitome of peace
& if later in the wee hours
i’m visited by a nightmare
i’ll have my furry little dreamcatcher
sweetly stretched out by my side

Contrary to popular belief, Rob Plath is not yet under the jurisdiction of the worms. His latest book of poems, Batter the Keyboard Like a Raptor Is Behind Yr Back, is available from Laughing Ronin Press.

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