Three Poems


The orange scarecar in Molly’s yard
raised me up,
in the years after her crash,
my childhood years. I touched it everywhere
when I sailed myself and the dream wreck like a boat
over TV oceans.

Molly’s daughter, Rachel,
came to me,
told me many lies,
but I believed her, her royal blood,
and the boys, men, she lead to the ruined car
most nights. I asked her

how the accident happened. Her mom
it seemed,
washed dishes, set beds
at the highway’s Best Western,
where one evening she drunkenly danced with a bellhop,
at an obligational employee do,
alongside a pair of high-ups, blowing cigar smoke
into one another’s mouths.

Rachel says Molly was drunk enough
to let him kiss her hard in a spare, perfect room. Either way,
she drove home lonely.
Rain obscured the stars.
and whether bent to light a cigarette, or worn
enough to close her eyes,
Molly and the road parted ways
outside the Yantic River Inn.

While Rachel spent her crowded nights in the burned back seat
Molly slept unwell, dreaming
her old car alive. It warmed
and growled. Behind the wheel,
and tired enough to close her eyes, they would smash
themselves next door.

Rus in urbe

The river would be blue one day and gold the next

Streets screened with oak, linden, elm

Its wild, narrow, shadowed, almost Alp-like glens

Won from the water or blasted out of the rock

Then war in the South repainted Broad and Main

Sponge-off coughing around the Thames Arms

Its workers bought their own mistakes

Striking, banging every pot in the house

Outside Building One, a twelve hour picnic

Broken-up by the Quebecois, your house tarred

The mill wheel hauling, the scald of sizing

To be washed out later, before the cutting floor

Mill bell at dawn, the five streets light and rise

“Simplex” from the Tobin Arms, a hammerless gun

Occupation for industry, market foodstuffs, comfortable homes

At seven, the bell to work

Dodge Renée, get your hands on a candle

Come midnight, Ponemah cuts power

Poem With A Knife In It

Danny issued me
        a frame-lock
to bullet the cava &
        Shostakovich from

uphill in Norwich
       past Benedict Arnold’s plaque
the way I drove. We
        stomped on the ceiling

of Twice bought
      twice loved
empty for evening. The
      white bubbles packed

enough to blow
      a molar. I practiced
thumbing the side-stud
      to snap the torsion bar.

Danny read the roofs: there
     was the candy store:
mill shadow gone, there
     were the trailers

where we both
      hung out with this one kid.
He smacked your mom? Yeah,
      at Wequonic School

across the street
      in 6th or 5th.
Huge ancient arms
     rocked me to sleep

halfway down the dark mass
      on B. Here, he says,
bottle raised up,
     throw it, I’ll duck.

poetryBarzakh Mag