A TRANSFER OF AFFECTION
Watching her movie look-alike,
I went to bed remembering
an Alabama ex-girlfriend.
I woke later, hard at the memory.
Younger than me,
she gave head, loved light jazz,
told me stories of her babies lost in divorce.
we drove ourselves to distraction
and transfers out of state.
She married in Birmingham, moved home
to monitor her mother’s health,
fell in with a fishing crowd.
She sends holiday emails.
I check photos on Facebook.
Her mother passed.
Tomorrow, the world goes on,
they have no idea what has
transpired. It is as if everyone
lives in a vacuum.
Everyone continues to the road
to finding personal happiness
through grand spending. We must
be there at 7:30 AM, we must be
here by noon.
The memo is so important.
They have no idea what I have
lost in the process, and could barely
be bothered to slow down enough
to take note.
DeHart blogs here.Read more "poetry: jd dehart – world goes"
The Five Year Plan
I’m in the full church
For Cathy’s wedding.
Groom’s side, third row, aisle seat.
She walks past me
With the poise of a princess
Looking every inch the swimsuit model
She was until she became pregnant.
And whether that was an accident
Only one person will ever really know.
But I’m pretty sure how I’d place my bet.
Eyes that once spoke of love,
Lips that once loved
Now speak a silent warning
So clear my testicles contract:
“Don’t say anything.
Don’t mess up my day.
Why are you even here?”
The maid of honor
Told me last week
She said to Cathy,
“Do you love him?”
And Cathy replied, “I don’t know.
Sometimes maybe. It doesn’t really matter.”
Ten’ll get you twenty
I have her on the rebound
Within five years.
You just have to wait
For things to come around.
Not for a shovel full of diamonds
Would I even try to survive
What they’re going to put each other through
In those five years.
It would make hell seem like
A week in Maui.
So: man up—
Do you want the bet or not?
~Read more "poetry: andrew hubbard – the five year plan"
FRYING POTATOES AND ONIONS
I woke up and coughed my disease into the sink
And then I pissed and brushed my teeth.
It was when I started frying potatoes and onions,
Potatoes I cubed and an onion I sliced in this same room
Where I now sit and type,
That I began to think about you again,
For the third time that morning.
We were in my old apartment and it was after one A.M.
You were hungry and I made you a bacon and egg sandwich
The way my grandmother used to make one for me on Sunday morning
When I stayed at her house as a teenager.
You were so grateful, so filled with happiness
That I was doing something that is really so small
Compared to what I would be willing to do for you
And you kept saying how delicious it was,
Us warm and still vibrating from our hours
Going back and forth in bed.
Every object in the room brings a memory,
Every toss and turn in bed brings flames of fetid anger
Simmering in my stomach.
Now the rain has stopped and the fog is rolling in
But never enough that I cannot still see you
Delighting in every moment with me and steeling yourself
For when time would suspend our moments for another week
It feels as if you are as dead as my grandmother
Or my mother
Instead of just gone from me and me alone
And when I think of you all that exists is mourning
Because it is still so new.
The potatoes, the onions, the spices
Clench themselves at the pit of my stomach
And all my eyes can see are things that are not here
And all my heart can feel
Is a phantom pain for the love we had
That you let suffer and die
All for the sake of the congruity
Of a false and moldy
So I went back to bed,
For another night
Where you were still alive in my life,
Oblivious to your secrets, your artifice,
And the fraud of your extended silence
~Read more "poetry: john tustin – frying potatoes and onions"
late at night,
lost years ago
in midnight rain–
as it crawls
across the sheets–
the evening ache
that fills my empty pant leg,
that fills his wife’s empty bed,
the evening ache
that fills hearts and heads,
to lost loves
and lost limbs
and lost lives.
I found you in America
A thousand years of hate
and middling piano notes
it’s your own philosophy
and all of his child rape
it’s the Moon
it’s a day in America
with everything that comes with it
it’s your boss
and his dick
it’s the road
and it’s Frisbee
it’s Jesus again!
and it’s more Jesus.
It’s where you live.
It’s a ludicrous paradigm of revelations
it’s bad porn.
it’s a long drive
with country relatives
it’s a long whiskey
and a long night
give me the long night
and the long whiskey
and tell me everything’s gonna be fine
Hunter S Thompson fine
and heavily medicated
under the influence of drugs
one of the dances your ancestors might have done
wearing a chiffon tutu
and making your lips into a delicate “O”
and Method Acting
I give you mine
and you give me yours
on the playground
after the fiesta
after all the suns have set
and all the televisions have been turned off
and the movie theaters have shut down
and New York has been turned off
and Washington is only a rumor
and small burger joints
coalesce into beautiful oil paintings
where beggars nod philosophy
and beat poets
scream into the wilderness about their mothers
and I found you.
I found you in America
where I lost you too, the next day
I found you with a gun
and then, I found you with another gun
and then, I found you with my gun.
this is my gun
and this is my gun
and this is my gun, again
the visage of a saint
with a locket
and a woman’s voice
and a god’s eyes
language is my gun
a thousand fields
and a thousand nights
Arabian and otherwise
Give me the Zulu
and give me the House of Saud
Give me all of China
Give me Japan
I’m big in Japan.
Give me Jerusalem
and all places which have two names
give me the cheeseburger
and take me to Turtle Island
where I have Wind in My Hair
And Dances With AssWipes
and all of the Lakota Wisdom
Shining over my Jalopy
With Jake and Fred
and Elmer Fudd
high as kites in a cheap motel
wondering when the sun will set
so we can go skiing
give me the moonlight
and give me the deliverance
I am the deliverance of the moonlight
no longer American, or white
no longer strictly conscious
but subject to the interference of an ancestral voice
speaking from the darkness
the shaman speaks in the ridiculous darkness
a ridiculous darkness which is both real and unreal
humorous and terrifying
where all lovers come to die
and all movies come to be born
in the caveman Saturn of the dawn
around your arms
I remember coming home in the evening
to a pregnant wife carrying our first.
Worked in the Uranium mines
at the time, about all there was to do
other than pump gas
and paid twice as much,
a no brainer—
made $6 an hour
with a daughter on the way.
Plus, at the gas station,
no one ever told you
you’re an American hero,
you’re helping the Cold War effort,
you’re a patriot.
No one ever told us anything
about the dangers of standing knee high
in water containing uranium run-off,
wearing paper masks among the yellow dust
filling the exhaust fan air, cleaning
the uranium off hopeless air filters—
masks around our necks
because they’d been clogged.
The inspectors from the government
never got out of their trucks, and supervisors
had us barricade the unsafe areas, go back in
when the inspectors went back home
to their wives and kids in clean shirts.
I went home everyday in a yellow-caked shirt.
My wife threw it in with the rest of the laundry.
Our daughter came out with no hips…
And it’s 50 years later, and we won the Cold War,
but my wife and I both have tumors on our lungs.
That’s just the price we pay for National Security.
And it’s no consolation that the Navajos had it worst.
I almost felt what it was like to be Indian
when all my friends died
and the town became a wasteland.
One buddy of mine shot himself—
poor guy said he didn’t wanna be in a diaper.
The biggest tumor of them all is the stockpile
of 4,760 nuclear warheads, the national monument
to injustice, death, cancer, Depends, and terror—
the price we pay for National Security.
Nighttime in the ICU
In the arcadian night
she murmurs faintly for juice,
mustering all her energy,
fluttering fingers like
a preflight angel.
her heavyhearted guardian
hears and is instantly there
with juice and tender whispers
amid soft beeps and tiny lights.
~Read more "POETRY: JASON BRIGHTWELL – NIGHTTIME IN THE ICU"