:: Article

Three Poems

By Andrei Guruianu.

Searching for the Lost Philosophers

Among the many numbers
of philanthropist whores,
unfinished names and eternal damnation.

In a bathroom stall of a rest stop
on a long, black stretch of highway
glistening under a steady, slow rain.

An anarchic scrawl,
an epitaph to a dead man made famous
by something he once said about God.

Someone who’d taken the time,
ever so carefully, to stay
within the lines of a single white tile.

Night in a Strange Bed

Stranded for hours in a half-dream,
holding on to solitary shadows.

Below, I watch the same old grass
for so long that I’ve come to know
the nature of each blade.

There must be a misunderstanding,
I plead with the clock at my bedside.

The uncompromising measure of its rhythm
picking at the dark, raw like a fresh wound.

Each bleeding second
feels like agony in this aimless sleep.
A splinter caught in a derelict rain.

Postcard From a Different Country

From the entrance of this roadside Invalid Hotel,
I stand and watch the mud make rivers at my feet.
The rain slides like grease down my neck,
down to the small of my back.

Inside, a yellow-haired girl who calls herself Ophelia
is standing at the window, drinking champagne.
She says to the attending trees,
“Each day we die, and each day we are renewed
as from a mother’s kiss.”

The rest of the condemned are cloistered
in the shade of corridors and garrets,
dark attendants to their own funeral scene.
For a backdrop, pay-per-view sermons on modesty,

the owner calling numbers at the altar,
wearing nothing underneath his robe.
The man in a threadbare suit is going all in.
He’s got nothing left to lose.

The rooms I pass are adorned with red velvet curtains,
and behind each one a different version of Ophelia,
a brand new postcard vision of America.
There are no exact words for such vagaries,

not a damn thing we can know with any certainty
that at some point will not change into another.
Ophelia slides an ice cube down her neck,
down to the small of her back, where it disappears.

Andrei Guruianu is a Romanian-born writer living in New York. He is the author of a poetry collection, Days When I Saw the Horizon Bleed (FootHills Publishing, 2006) and a chapbook, It Was Like That Once (Pudding House, 2008). He is pursuing a Ph.D. in English at Binghamton University, and teaches writing at Ithaca College, NY. He is the founder and editor of the literary journal The Broome Review.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Wednesday, January 28th, 2009.