Saturday, April 1, 2023

Three Poems, Edward Tedrow

Open this poem 
From the piece of my brain  
that thinks elsewhere I want 
to flick open this poem 
like a Zippo and light 
a fire on your arm hair, 
the impetus to jump out 
of the box you confine 
your noggin in.  I want  
to flip open this poem 
to reveal the inner intentions 
the true guts of it.  I want to scatter  
the words like a deck of cards,  
a puerile shuffle, and see down  
past them the depth of which 
I am currently unaware.  I  
want to dissolve   
this poem to reveal a  
single poetic atomic 
itching awe in my mind. 

Black Spot 
Sitting on my sofa, something  
catches my attention 
in my peripheral. 
There is a black spot on my ceiling. 
Its shape is unclear from this distance. 
I think I have not seen it before 
but I may have seen it  
everyday, an irregular in the drywall, 
and return to reading my magazine. 
After some time I look at the spot again. 
It seems closer to me.  
It is closer to me. 
It’s a bug.   
There’s a damn bug  
in my house.   
It moves toward me  
when I am not watching 
and stays still 
when I stare. 
Like death. 
Every single day. 
Each time I glance up  
I hope to see it retreating 
having found nothing to  
feed on. It must have found 
something to feed on. 
I look again minutes later 
and it is closer still, 
of course. 
Soon it will be overhead, 
of course. 
Soon it will fall in my lap 
and I will cuss jump and jerk  
like I didn’t know  
it was going to happen. 

The Smell of Honey      
Some say my dog loves me.  Honey seems happy  
to see me but I see her as more needy than loving.   
Every day she roams the manicured back yard  
and eats dog food that I buy at a grocery.   
While her snacks vary a little the same dog food  
is out for her every day.   As she lies down she listens 
and wonders when again she will be petted or fed.   
When I lean down to touch  
my forehead to hers  
I smell the matted hair of 
an ancient wolf hungry, chasing  
a meal on a clumpy prairie  
panting panting  
missing and missing.   
On another chase  
and missing again.   
Catching the next one  
on the fuel of desperation.   
I smell the tearing  
of flesh and the yanking  
of meat that does not  
want to leave the bone.   
I smell the luxury of blood  
all over the sated wolf’s snout and paws.   
I owe it to Honey to pull  
on a rope with her.  When I lean down  
to touch my forehead to hers,  
Honey smells a man  
bewildered in a supermarket  
wondering if he’s lived his life right. 

Edward Tedrow lives in Slidell, Louisiana with his wife. 

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