why the hell can i not post a poem without the formatting getting all screwy?
The deer come out in the evening.
God bless them for not judging me,
I’m drunk. I stand on the porch in my bathrobe
and make strange noises at them—
if language can be a kind of crying.
The tin cans scattered in the meadow glow,
each bullet hole suffused with moon,
like the platinum thread beyond them
where the river runs the length of the valley.
That’s where the fish are.
I’ll scoop them from the pockets of graveled
stone beneath the bank, their bodies
desperately alive when I hold them in my hands,
the way prayers become more hopeless
when uttered aloud.
The phone’s disconnected.
Just as well, I’ve got nothing to tell you:
I won’t go inside where the bats dip and swarm
over my bed. It’s the sound of them
shouldering against each other that terrifies me,
as if it might hurt to brush across another being’s
But I carry a gun now. I’ve cut down
a tree. You wouldn’t recognize me in town—
my hands lost in my pockets, two disabused tools
I’ve retired from their life of touching you.
You Are The Place You Cannot Move -Ralph Angel
You wake up healthy
but you don’t feel right. Now everything’s
backwards and you’re thinking of someone to blame.
And you do, you’re lucky,
drinking coffee was easy, the traffic’s
moving along, you’re like
everyone else just trying to get through the day
and the place you’re dreaming of seems possible—
somewhere to get to.
All you really know
is that it hurts here, the way feelings
are bigger than we are, and a woman’s face
in a third-story window, her limp hair
and the pots of red geraniums luring you
into her suffering until you’re walking on roads
inscribed in your own body. The maps
you never speak of. Intersections, train stations,
roadside benches, the names of places and
people you’ve known all bearing the weight
of cashing a check or your having to eat something,
of glimpsing the newpaper’s ghoulish headlines.
Like everyone else, you think,
the struggle toward a better time, though
no pressure surrounds the house you were born in.
Cool, quieter, a vast primitive light
where nothing happens but the sound
of your sole self breathing.
And you’ve decisions to make. Isn’t that why
you’ve come? with a bald-headed man at the bar
and your friends all over the place, anxious,
tired, a little less sturdy than you’d hoped for
and needing someone to kick around, someone to love.
You Are The Place You Cannot Move
—Slaughter on 10th Ave
Slaughter on 10th Ave.