four poems by Justin Hyde 

on your way to buy black velvet
 
texas stop at Douglas Ave
former president carter on npr
refuting that condoleezza asked him
not to meet with hamas.
 
rubber neck the semi jackknife on Lower Beaver
coffee like hornet spray past your lips.
 
thirty years old:
no checking account,
one pair of jeans,
stretch marks the size of gotham
festooning your waist,
a dead end graveyard shift job
locked in a pit
with third string crack dealers
unmedicated schizophrenics
murderers
and baby rapers.
 
you’ve made a mockery of your life.
 
eleven out of thirteen this pleases you.
 
on the other two days you listen to AM radio
 
read philosophy
 
and switch from bud light to black velvet
 
until the fever breaks.
 
before we stopped speaking to each other
 
my father and i
went for walks:
 
not around the block
or half hour hikes
in the woods:
 
we’d go on ten
fifteen milers:
 
it’d be an
all day affair.
 
that day
was a twelve miler
to the pizza buffet
and back.
 
halfway home
we passed a bike rack
in front of the mall.
 
would i
steal one of those bikes
if i was bone tired
and thirty miles from home?
he asked.
 
told him no
(i was eleven
and couldn’t imagine
stealing anything)
 
he didn’t
believe me:
 
told me
he’d stolen one
off an indian reservation
after a night of drinking
when he was
in the army.
 
well old man
if we spoke to each other
i’d tell you
you were right:
 
i’ve stolen bicycles
cars
kegs of beer
even a crossbow:
 
i’ve lied cheated
and pissed on the hearts of women
like urinal cakes
with surprisingly little
remorse.
 
on the deck at 7:14am
 
crack a tallboy,
feel a little sun
after another third shift
in paradise.
 
neighbor’s boxer
puts his paws on the fence,
five sharp barks.
 
you rarely see these people,
they’ve been there a month,
come and go in an old white van,
leave this poor guy outdoors
 
water and food dish
mostly empty.
 
he’s got no collar,
you massage his neck,
look over the fence,
 
empty.
 
grab some bacon wrapped in tinfoil
out of the fridge,
 
at
two hundred and thirty-three pounds
 
you can’t one-hop these fuckers
anymore.
 
crouching down at the spigot
you glance into the basement window.
 
looks like an old man
in a wheelchair
is stuck in the corner.
 
you tap on the window.
 
you lean in closer.
 
overhead
 
a jet splits the sky.
 

my golden parachute
 
a dusty brown couch
in my parent’s basement
 
&
 
all the generic bran flakes
i could eat.

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2 Responses

  1. loved them all, but especially the last.

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