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Four poems from EVERYTHING HERE IS OK just got published over at Hart House Review thanks to Prathna Lor. I'm going to post the earliest versions of the poems I can find here just to see if that might be neat.

[these two poems combined to be the earliest draft of
everything was very calm]

i didn’t feel like making lunch because

there wasn’t any food in the fridge.

i walked down to broad street and then

i took that up to mcdonald’s

where i stood in line for a very long time

and in my head

a great speckled bird descended

from the clouds and swallowed everyone there whole

shrines were be built on the corner

and everyone stood around

like a fire drill.


i felt an overwhelming urge to sit down

but i didn’t. i felt decisive. i took a bite

of my burger, and it tasted exactly

the way i needed it to.

if i was a detective i could get to the bottom of things

if i was a gunslinger i could shoot you between the eyes

if i was more efficient this wouldn’t be a problem

i thought about all of this as i cleaned the kitchen floor the other day

and then i didn’t think about anything

except how i’d managed to clean the kitchen floor.

please leave the lights on

i stayed down on the ground and let them all have my neck

and in the morning something had changed.

categorically, there is something about ghosts

that i cannot understand.

imagine death as a skeleton on a skeleton horse.

now picture that skeleton riding the skeleton of an automobile,

or some type of dirt bike.

i thought about that last night

and then i dreamed about a man named walt, with a peg leg

and a pea coat

standing on a pier and watching as the delaware parted

in such a way that he could never cross it ever again.

he watched as a great big clipper ship

carried something very important to him

very far away. the look in his eyes

made me think of the way a lighthouse must look to a sailor

intent on synchronized shipwrecks.

send me the money you owe me

the tv was on. she watched a show about crows that took your bad dreams

and ate them from your fingers. these dreams were rooted

in fears and your childhood and the ground.

come back it’s starting she said over the phone and waited.

i could picture the way it would feel

with someone else on the couch.

she said hurry. i did. i saw several pigeons land

in the parking lot. their form was perfect.

it was like an instructional video.

all of our problems will be eaten by crows i said.

she said that was close but not quite it but that i almost had it.

i pulled out my six guns and fired one into a lake

and i killed a fish and i took it out and i held it

and it nibbled on my finger a little. sort of.

certain bodies of water

do you believe in ghosts she asked me.

i said you mean with sheets?

she said no. she said not with sheets.

she said she believes in ghosts.

in something involving physics

and a need to hold on. she said she believes

she would like a glass of water.

i tell her i would bring her the ocean to drink.

she said the ocean is salt water.

she said i just want a glass of regular water.

i thought about catfish

and the mississippi delta

where i have never been.


Anonymous said...

this is beautiful

taidgh said...

Hi. I like reading the earliest versions of the poems and then comparing them with the ones published over at the Hart House Review a nice touch. Nice to transition that they've gone through in the editing phases

Some nice poems too. Thanks for this. Have a great day!

Clement Greenberg said...

it doesnt even rhyme

luckmey said...

Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you really know what you are talking about!
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