CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
|From The Kaleidoscopic Almanac and Seed Catalogue, with Notes
Born to be. Under amplified sermons cliffs erode. All this they wrote out and folded before leaving. Out at collar, they arrive bringing collars. To collar. If I knew who they were, I would let on. Give forth. Sunrooms awaken the home. Summer afternoons grant a lemony pucker we share evenings. Care, careless one. We do care and they do. Paradox nurses workers. Then the others they were. Clean tools, sharp now, in orderly files. All this sad on ice, when in a cooler. Unopened, Hank lies sober. Uneasy to read his flat lip, or just leave it. Forever and now. See a snake pass across the trail. Trace mottoes scratched in clay. Inky. A bright gang here. Freedom lights fuses. These my embarrassed words, embroidered. Fly outward, menacing satellites so fragile. A strong headwind awakes your familiar, the tattooed actor. What washes and rusts in the ocean, you ask him, livid with unspent blame. Anger drips on the barbecue. Meaning beefs. Calm as cows, you are so skittish with strangers, all right, okay mystery. To own up to livestock. Your generation born in wards.
Blue light is special. Hesitate to take the moonlit stroll. Because animals. Fenceposts. A silver car, not a squad car, patrols. Only seems to be, not means to be, here and there, coming to and going fro. Say we are juggling and you watch all the pins. Or each. Or throw in one or another. Eventually all walks are circular. Stitch me that. A lot of good correctly described as home. Framed, there to ponder. Say more. A child couldn’t believe we were each and all blameworthy. Then all homes are moving. Though one’s own is enough, and each loved. Of course uncalculated watercourses unform part of the turning earth. Really. Stereo songs celebrate or chide what there is to squander. If I had a turntable. Night’s braille moo calls that bluff.
Part of outside slips in with August’s traffic. It shows where clothes need minding. Here are many gardens. A truck gleams its fine details at noon. Maybe airbrushed. Like the side of a black can in green caffeine colors, lizard tongues, snake curls, neon flame. Jealousy in emulation, pride in restraint. The hallowed pump rightly foreign. Yet in its place. A new-made strange shed. An old shed strange. Stores a space we duck our heads there. Call that a species of nodding. Another carbon drawing brings up changes as we turn toward it. As if sunflowers. As if we could walk into the display. Screen doors need saving, stitch with floss, accept perspective. Borrow a pencil. Because before long. Lines of parents nodding. Not in approval or estimation or judgment. Keeping time. Speaking in hushed tones, these are awake.
Change colors until your jacket’s out at sleeves. Fold it for another town’s seasons. The escaped almanac says October will ignite some days, weave its mulch, come down as a torn quilt. This almanac with dates scratched out, useful still. Ghosts just are their clothes. Certain planets, beady-eyed, elliptical, tuck in as for second supper. Heavens their table. Do not forgive all that I say, but choose. A setting or outer atmosphere. Some ways the land lies please. Or it is cussed hardheadedness. We jump feet-first into rivulets. Only a little. It hurts. When the rooster crows, alone you toss and turn. The bag man, says the inky actor in voice-over. As if that made sense, dawn clears the counters.
Past parti-colored grasses at field’s edge, a bright tin can dangles cut twine. We did leave by this road. Herds startle, because they will. You were telling me potluck secrets, and now that I have forgotten them, your photo is in Mexico. Steam in the ears may make for better hearing, years later. But how about that. One day. There is one day always. Mix it, and let it precipitate in you.
My brother isn’t here. I wake and know. But you are, and somewhere he is, somewhere else. Sudden violence in father’s snores and when they stop. A few thoughts like drum-cracks. Let them be. A deal was struck, hand under thigh. Who was blind, who made a bad bargain, who fed the famished. We were to arrive at a mountain. Neither of us a candidate for apotheosis. Shot on the sidewalk, in a snapshot, phrases written on our backs. Then they still use red pencils. That mountain, undermined by shafts of fool’s gold, was never ours. Yet we never wanted it. The minutes of the mining company listing all they paid in meal. My brother went to make peace with an oligarch, goes by Dusty McScrooge. I was for joining miles of gentle dispute to a big city. So I thought. We became weavers just itching for the times. Then all the lines went down. A humming arrived, a long electric echo. You are forever standing outside stores. Tell me where we meet tonight.
Chris Hosea’s poems can be found in 6x6, Horse Less Review, Matchbook, Denver Quarterly, VOLT, Harvard Review, Iowa Review, Literary Review, Swerve, and other journals. With Cecily Iddings, he edits The Blue Letter, a free direct-mail poetry newsletter, and curates the Blue Letter Series at Watty & Meg in Brooklyn. He holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.