Oh gorgeous derelict! Drunken dancer crashed
and fast asleep behind the garage. In your skirts
and pretty pink petticoats you sprawl, face-down
in the muck: thrown snowball, supermodel fat
with petals, your knowledge too much for one
thin girl to bear. Slim Sherpa bent double
under unreasonable expectations, your slender
frame was not built for such resplendencies.
Too much beauty will break the strongest back.
That is the truth of this world, its terrible gravity.
She said she was suffering from ennui I thought she said Henri well I say screw him anyway his
tiny police cars funny sirens his demitassefrissonooh-la-la. His Napoleonic advances frozen in
the Waterloo of her glare now reflected at me by a wine glass half-full which in a French accent
sounds like awful and by the way is—this wine I mean—just as happiness sounds like a penis
which is what Mme. Charles DeGaul once told reporters was the most important thing one
could have in this life.
Midnight in the Garden of Evel Knievel
Helmeted Elvis in jumpsuit and stars. Heavengone
American dreamer, Percocet-twisted and streaking,
tumbledown comet of preteen days stretched taut
to sleepy end of firefly time. Oh the drumbeat of your
entrance: engine rumble, boneshatter serenade,
all Jerry Lee Lewised and wild. Wide-Worldly sporter
of capes, fountain-spouted Caesar of my Saturday
afternoons, cartoon-viewed and scampering
for my Sting-Ray: Schwinn-sent, soaring over sidewalks
hopscotched and chalked, over ten Tonka trucks end-
to-end, launched and endo-ed and satisfying snap
of collarbone, world viewed through football helmet
earhole and big boys don’t cry. Star spangled
and gasping, but already scheming: just a few more
horses, and daddy, I could fly!
BRENT TERRY Brent Terry is the author of three collections of poetry, the latest being Troubadour Logic, forthcoming in February 2014 from National Poetry Review Press. Originally from Colorado, he now spends as many hours as possible running the roads and trails of New England, then refueling on burritos and Dr. Pepper, ever questing to create, as Tony Hoagland put it, this thing made out of experience/ but to which experience will never measure up. Terry teaches creative writing and literature at Eastern Connecticut State University.