How I Learned To Shut Up And Listen

What to say about Rachel who pressed
a dark pis­tol against her chest and gave up
in the mid­dle of the day at the lake­front—
the hot cut­ting from tit to ass cheek,
miss­ing all of the organs except her
mind which to this day she coats
in cocaine and sug­ar dad­dies.

Or Jean Paul who would tell me
what blow jobs were like when we
were kids, and he'd take advan­tage
of a smile and feath­ered hair to laugh
when laugh­ing was inap­pro­pri­ate. His
sto­ries of mak­ing it with the girl
who sat in front of us in class
became a form of his­to­ry when
they found him hung out­side
his girlfriend's trail­er.

When I hear tele­vi­sion news smile
about the tragedies of being alive—
again and again I won­der what
you are doing. The last time
we talked we fucked against
the wall in com­plete agree­ment
that what­ev­er it was, was over.
The idea of a heav­en every­one
seems to go out of their way
to avoid. The art of dark­ness.

What to say about the bad things?
And the ones con­tem­plat­ed while
I pre­tend to not be anoth­er ass­hole
in mid­dle Amer­i­ca? I once fell for
a Fil­ip­ina hook­er with blue con­tacts.
What is wrong with lis­ten­ing instead
of talk­ing into the deaf wind?


Ken­neth Clark
has lived in most of the south­east­ern Unit­ed States. He writes poet­ry and micro-fic­tion. His poet­ry has appeared in Night Train, Poor Mojo's Almanac(k), and Great­est Uncom­mon Denom­i­na­tor.
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