There's a light at the end of the chimney we use
as a periscope in reverse, sprinkling stars
like breadcrumbs in a forest beneath a leaky
ceiling. Every landscape has its own sunset.
Please tell me more, starting with knitting.
Sometimes the false logic seems better
than the real one. Anything to help settle
the crash-test dummy's stomach. The rest
is managed by computers and whatever
comments you leave on Instagram
with its little pillow in the margins—
one day gray, one day green, one day blue.
I like watching the fireboat chug into action.
Post-studio means you send a lot of emails.
There's a violence to the hummingbird,
body hollow like a bulb skating round
and round the rink. For a while, we had to live
off of our savings, naming the ribcage Casper
or thieves. Then we went three and out,
wearing a big hat and boots, because it gets
cold on the train. Where words fail, music
fills the spaces. So when are you coming over?
I'm a terror with the DM. My heart
We drink vodka on the holidays to celebrate
our new ferns, our founding fathers, in a hail
of bullets and Christmas tree ornaments.
I even wore a fake beard and flannel shirt,
smelling like evergreen technology or a funny
playground. Minutes later, we stopped
on the side of the road to look under the hood,
wondering, Who brought a Super Soaker
to a sack race? We're just beads on a chain,
yet that shit runs deep, while a dog yaps
at vertebrae turning interstellar and our
squeezed-out like a sponge by the sink.
The free write didn't turn out to be so free,
though it's pure internet gold. What was I
thinking? I do standup at the laundromat
and current romance. My stage name
might be Haphazard or Left Shark before
the data gets collected, then Skype me in
along with chicken tenders since I got
my start in dinner theater. You might even
call it drama. Right next to the nail
is the hammer's indentation, and probably
many, or tomorrow's outrage replaces today's,
cigarette smoke curling above the guards.
I see your point, and I don't know the answer.
My scarf is a bit tight around the neck,
but almost everything softens in the tub
except this spreadsheet they gave me at work
for keeping track of celebrities wearing
baggy sweatpants and ogled beach bods.
Next we drew the missing children.
Congrats on your book. I quickly switched
to a backup plan that involves laser tag
and a mirror, although it's what's on the inside
that truly matters according to the leisured class
and good student I once was.
I also used to be more moralistic. Now I steal
the traffic cones when no one's looking,
except the health insurance brokers,
the drone and satellite views. Where should
I go after school? We sent the prize through
the laundry, rubbing the surfaces until
they shine like rows of fluorescent bulbs
at the office, and trying not to do more harm
than good. The signals travel farther at night,
scraping the day away and handing out cherries.
But you'll still need to call the plumber here,
power lines snapping beneath heavy snow.
Author Bio: Alan Gilbert is the author of two books of poetry, The Treatment of Monuments and Late in the Antenna Fields, as well as a collection of essays, articles, and reviews entitled Another Future: Poetry and Art in a Postmodern Twilight.