Sunday, July 1, 2007

C L Bledsoe


You think ahead to warm
to full
to dark brown days

You feel teal, feel stretched like taffy
but not thin, not yet
It's making you full, teaching you not to snap

Strangely busy
getting nothing done, like God
would feel if he were planning
a wedding

Remember eyes open
to darkness, cow woken
chewing beyond the brick
wall, remember lying, listening
Morning, the truck would be coming,
think of the night.

Paper or Plastic

The desire was something like a windstorm
blowing across the prairies of his back,
farting north. I knew we were lost
when I'd eaten the last shred of map paper –
but the hunger was stronger than my poor heart.
He turned to me with a glint in his teeth;
sand sharpens more things than thirst,
and we'd been eating nothing but grit (and map) s
for days.

Time whets the appetite
like stones
(tell me you have correct change
or tell me you're leaving all your groceries behind
was what the man said to me. It's on his

wallet, my death, my poor struggle)
Round faces strange taste (u) (e) s.
(paper or plastic
he said, but not
without plastic)

Ragged Dick

Horatio Alger drank tea through his nose.
I hope you understand, I can't abide the smell of toast,
he would say, throwing the breakfast dishes
around the kitchen like porcelain Frisbees
with jam and bacon on them, until they broke
on the walls. Then they became quite another metaphor
entirely. He once confided in me
no one, not even his dear old ma-ma
could beat his toast.
This is the reason
he hated it, hated
all other attempts
to mimic his
artistry, in much
the same way God
dislikes competition
and yet refuses
to reprise His famous
role. So, Horatio
felt towards his toast.
He often would sit in his pajamas, snorting
so loudly that it woke the young boys
sleeping morphinely in the next room.
Sprinkle witch-hazel on the bum of innocence,
he would say, cause he done tore his ass.

A Box

A box. A box with legs (inside)
scrabbling. A box with air holes
so the puppy won't suffocate
on the way home from the pet store. But if you shake
him, he still will. If you shake him
hard enough. Do it while Mom is cussing
at traffic and Dad is watching
the girls cross from the campus
on their way to that fancy restaurant
you went to one time that has crappy
burgers. Shake him hard, but quietly,
so that when you get home, carry
him inside (shifting him around
some so it seems like he's moving)
and open the box with those big eyes Mom
always falls for – you can turn them (leaking
red, now) up to her asking, without saying
What happened

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