:: Article

The Third Way

By Nicholas Rombes.

‘Baskets’ by Nicholas Rombes, 1984

You disappeared into that flat Ohio winter like some sliver
Of white into white but not before the shitty brick tavern we loved
And where we played 301 badly in a deep perverted groove
Of lust. The sort you can’t get out of unless you take off

Each other’s clothes like in some freaked out version
Of a Caryl Churchill play. The way way leads on to way.
The stations of loving on your bed while the dead outside
Lay buried as they always have.

The blank flat fields that used to be swamp. The harness
Of history lighter until it’s gone completely, vanished
Into a particular sound that only the owls can hear. It’s funny, Lena,
How you thought punk could save you in three chords

As if no future was something real you could touch
And mold like Play-Doh or the shapeless sound of your father’s belching
Purring tractor on the far black fields outside Monclova where, in six
Months we’d find you face down.

Your own sorrow, was it so big? What expanse of space tinted
By the red gore of your worst thoughts, and yet, Lena I want I want
You I want you I don’t hate Ohio I want you
Back I don’t hate it I don’t! I don’t hate
I want I want you back
In this world.

Nicholas Rombes

Nicholas Rombes is author of the novel The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing (Two Dollar Radio) and the 33 1/3 book Ramones (Bloomsbury), as well as the director of the feature film The RemovalsHis work has appeared in The BelieverThe Los Angeles Review of Books, and Filmmaker Magazine. He is a professor of English at the University of Detroit Mercy, at the corner of Six Mile and Livernois, in Detroit, Michigan.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021.