:: Article

Four Poems

By Justin Hyde.

a call to the ex wife at 10:27pm

what was the stuff
you got me
that winter when
the backs of my knees
dried out?

cortisone,
she says.

ah cortisone
thank you.

that all
you needed?

remember the first time
we went walking
at the woodpecker trails?

don’t
justin.

ok
i’m sorry.

go to bed.

ok.

goodnight.

goodnight.

 

on a bench at the playground down the street

our lives
are nothing but
can openers.

love
and all its
gratuitous machinations
simply illusions
to propagate more can openers.

this kind of nihilism
has clogged your mind
since the age of nine

standing on your toes

your grandfather’s cheek
a stone
inside his casket.

daddy
my shoe is untied,
says your
three year old son
plodding up to you.

his cheek will
be a stone
too.

but
for now

he needs you.

 

another dark haired intellectual

don’t remember
exactly what i said
to piss
her off:

something about
the majority
being little more
than walking
stillbirths.

she railed
about every creature
possessing redeeming qualities
and none of us
having the moral fiat
to judge.

i wanted
to nut
in her mouth

so to prove
my empathy
and gilded
heart

i called a
timeout

told her
i was a poet

which of course
she
didn’t believe.

so i downed
another shot of
mcgillicuddy’s

stared deeply
into her
left eye.

here’s one
i’ve been working on,
i said
reciting the following
with
supple verve:

“you got a hole
and i got a rod

over the vast expanse

ribald unicorns once roamed

feral.

juniper

&

saffron

you got a hole
and i got a rod:

let’s copulate
in posthumous tribute
to the unicorn.”

i extended
my arm:

the vinyl
on the bar-stool
where she had been sitting
was quite
warm.

strangely

i felt
victorious.

 

mourning michael jackson

two city mowers
dark as wet tar
sat idle on their machines
smoking and drinking pop
as i rode by
on my bicycle.

the older one
with a white goatee
motioned me over.

they wanted
the caucasian perspective:

who broke down
more racial barriers,
michael jackson
or michael jordan?

told him
far as i was concerned
they were both
diversionary tactics.

how i’d trade them
and three-fourths of the population at large
to bring back
malcom x.

malcom who?
i heard the younger one ask
as i pedaled away.

 

justin_0051
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Justin Hyde lives in Iowa. More of his work can be found here.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009.