Wednesday, January 27, 2010



Weight falls like miles beneath our tires.
Rest is a day that hasn't come,

though we mark it each month, hoping.
Lines form around our eyes as though

they were once much larger, and the sun
has shrunk them and condensed their contents.


Noise fills the eyes as well
as the ears, stretching from our door—

a snake's belly rubbing
the linoleum-covered concrete of the grocery

store, the carpet at work, worn by lines
of shoes, all stamping out

an oroboros, their eyes on its scales, each

painted with advertisements for
healthcare none of us can afford.


Eating out is a good way to say I love you
when there's someone else at whom to stare.

Let someone younger earn the tip
by keeping the glasses of our evenings filled

so we can sip away the time until bed

while we keep the air full of the noise
of our minds winding down.


Fall into the flour smelling bosom of maturity.
Skin pale, doughy. Vanilla. Hair blonding.

The nipped fingers of youth harden, shrink
like uneaten fruit. Cells die. The ones

that remain spread like splayed toes
to fill the space.

(Originally in, I believe, Press 1)


Glenn Buttkus said...

Yeah, oh yeah, lines, little crow's feet and spider webs and insane kalidescopes invading the contours of face and body, some straight across the forehead until you squint or wince and then they
undulate into whirls and waves. Hey, where do you get off having
such insight into aging. You are still a kid, sort of. Part of being a poet I guess, feeling the angst of the planet, and the weight of witnessing things happening to others all about you.
I posted the poem on my site, and used a pic of Paul Newman about a month before he died. Could have used one of Squint Eastwood though too.

CLBledsoe said...

Hey thanks. This will sound silly, but I have this way of predicting my future through poetry--I write a poem that isn't really based on anything I'm experiencing, just focusing on making a good poem based on some image or idea I get, and invariably, I kind of catch up to it and actually experience at least the emotional situation. One thing that really bothers me about this is that most of my poems are pretty negative, whereas right now, I'm pretty happy, except being massively overworked. Regardless, I'm especially hopeful that the opening reference to 'weight falling' might equate weight loss. Otherwise, it's very apropos for me right now, but was more abstract when I wrote it a couple years ago.

Glenn Buttkus said...

You have to be pretty disciplined to hold down your full time teaching position, and still find
time to write poetry, short stories, novellas, and such. Just an observation, about 90% of the "successfully published" poets
I have encountered, read, studied, and respected have been, or still are teachers. As Bobby Byrd says,
"It is a good time to be a poet, but the pay is still shitty."
He runs his own publishing company in El Paso these days. I hope my own productivity goes up post-retirement.

CLBledsoe said...

Is your friend reading manuscripts?

I wish I was more disciplined. Well, I guess that sentence pretty much answers its own question, huh? So to speak.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Bobby Byrd is just a cyber friend, another poet out there wailing in the wind against the war, living on the edge of a war zone above Juarez. I think I found his site by following Joy Harjo on her site. Check out BOBBY BYRD over on: