We had an open mic and workshop last night. I'm glad people brought work. I got a poem out of the night. I am on deadline, Let's get the poem out.
The magazines that used to reject your work
now send subscription offers, give you false hope.
They won't let you die, they won't let you live.
Your cassettes saved from the eighties have no player.
Something wants you to believe the answer
rests in something dusty and half-rewound.
Heaven is a place where your dog didn't drown,
where God created the first ever dogfish
to salve your heart and save your friend from your neglect.
You drive back home and you nurse your urge
to swerve into anything in your hometown streets,
anything that stays familiar out of spite.
Visiting home, you picture your figurative family tree
replanted right beside your literal family graves.
You imagine being able to read the falling leaves.
You might read enough of a pattern to open a window
and see your heroic ancestors, who proclaim their jealousy
over your ability to look back, see your betters.
The angels refuse to hold your hand for a healing.
They proclaim one more time you are already blessed.
You thank them for telling you what you don't believe. Why not.
|Not seen: Deb Priestly, who came in late.|
Special thanks to Kirk Etherton, Chris Fitzgerald, Martha Boss, Nancy Messom, Erik Nelson, James Van Looy and Deb Priestly.