Wednesday, July 22, 2015

CL Bledsoe and Michael Gushue: Three Poems

I Guess I’ll Go On. Why Not?
I can tell the future from the lines
on Samuel Beckett’s face. They say:
joy wears on the soul the same
as sorrow; who cares which you choose?
Dust will gather between their folds,
so at least you’ll be insulated
against the weather. But let me admit
something right now: I’ve never read a word
he wrote. I can’t even read. But I can damn
sure listen to a book on tape. But I haven’t
done that either. What I have done is fold
this paper over and over, then open it out
and smooth the creases. Exactly the same
as Samuel Beckett, it’s a Misfortune Teller.
This horizontal line is called Krapp’s Last Tweet,
and indicates the bottom of the cardboard
mailing tube where I live. It’s warm in there
and smells like woodlice. Like mama’s skirts.

Poppa Enigma

If you could count, you wouldn’t be wearing
three shoes. It’s okay. Put on some pants;
you haven’t even been born. Listen,

when the end comes, I’m holing up
in a Popeye’s. You can join us if you survive
the trials: namely, being able to pour a soda

without leaving a big gap at the top
when the foam disappears. And you’ve got
to be able to put the lid on without breaking it.

We’ll make a statue out of lard to commemorate
your memory if you fail. Come spring,
no memory will remain. None of us is getting out

of here without some major gastrointestinal distress
and several delicious biscuits. Watch for exploding
sheepdogs. You could call it the end of the world.

I call it Tuesday. Ignore the sleeping cats.
We have a deep fat fryer. We’ll be free.
Of our bodies. At some point.

A ceremonial pop quiz will be given
in honor of Sisyphus finally getting that rock
up that hill. Wait a minute. Never mind.

Nice try though, like pouring a glass of milk
into a world of milk, a world you are born in,
a world with nothing to lose, indifferent.

A world where you don’t even count.
The problem is one of desire. As in,
I want to explode and also witness my

explosion. I want to sleep and also trip
over the cat, go sprawling into tomorrow.
Have a biscuit. You’ve been a good dog.

Feathers, of a Sort

The buildings want to eat me not
because I’m scared but because
they’ve heard I’m soft enough to chew.
But I’m undeterred, living carapace free,
one mix tape after another. The elevator’s
throat gapes at my floor, a long corridor
disguised as the doorman’s seeing-eye
twerk. I’m rising. Believe me. I pushed
the up button twice. I can feel
my jelly legs fold from the upward
force. Soon, there will be pie
on the roof, clouds to reel down.
I’ll make them into the softest pillows you’ll
never see. 

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