Friday, July 1, 2022

Four Poems, Anthony Robinson


Because my heroes were never
my heroes, because to be here
is not to be heroic. To be grounded
like a ship or a big ol' plane can offer
instruction on patience, on waiting
to become. Because poets 
are just like everyone else and offers
are dirty dreams or slightly bright
protuberances. Because magic
is not brown because I am brown
but less than magic here, on this idea
become an ocean. Send more coyotes
because the Peter Iredale has been 
shipwrecked since 1906
and it isn't going anywhere: old
rusty steel will be my coronation.

Parable of the Asterisk

A man uttered a parable about swine and neon, about being prolific, profligate, and prodigal.  He was an apostate and an admirer of long dead thought of the sort once called "wisdom" in the backs of old magazines. It's true that he had used it all up. All of it! Cawed the crows from their perches on the backs of dumber ravens.  All of it! Squealed the swine as they tumbled into the ravine.  All of it! Bleated the goats as they wandered about being goats and then settled back down beneath the bannock trees from which bread fell fortnightly. The man in his mustard-colored robes made stories and dined on scraps. He returned to his point of origin on a regular basis. He paid his parking tickets when he could afford to. People came and went and cows mooed. Oil cans burned and alleys and grass grew over the fields beyond the horizon divided by the last road out of the city. Stubble grew over his face. He whittled a stick. He pushed forward.

Seven Days of Snow

Stop and start and stop again. Very
Full you on snow and agates sample

New artist. When that girl whose 
Husband I cuckolded wrote "I'm

Drinking again" I started listening
To the world, the Earth, Appalachian

Music, again.  The sluice set aside
First snow now 2nd time. I didn't

Fall. The doctors, or physicians 
Because I like to demean them

Keep talking about my fall and I say
What fall. They didn't give me

The good drugs, even. Slices of my
Head, insert blank head emoji. Jah

Wobble's Invaders of the Heart was
A soundtrack amidst anguish palm

Trees and blacktop swapmeets. Got
A good thing going. Things as things.

Thingness is mostly the sky and shy
Dromedaries which is why we 

Have Hump Day. Stopped. Drink
Ing. Started drinking again, stay

And start stunning again. Stinking mama,
Was I not good looking enough. Tried

To explain gaslighting. She said you're
Anything crazy. Ham hocks and beans

And Jiffy Cornbread. My God you gotta
Be. HaShem snow world to be 

So we be shady? So we fall down? I guess
We fall under sharks. We begin with

Fucking sandwiches from Cuba. I need
Something else. I need more of a test.

Ashes, ashes.

On Looking at Some Chinese Poets

Some poets sing
About the heaven and earth 
To me they are
Always and only
The ground and the sky

And me, I'm tired of living
And my voice is hoarse
From constant appeals 
To the empty sky

Clouds are made of water
But insubstantial 
A paler version
Of the horrible sea

And my arms are tired
From all this pointless
Rowing so I stand now
On this middle ground

Dark earth not firm 
And I lift my tired arms
Dig in my faithless heels
And get to work

Anthony Robinson lives and writes in rural Oregon. His poems have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Iowa Review, The Laurel Review, Court Green, Verse, and elsewhere. His first full-length book will be published in Spring 2023 by Canarium Books.

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