New Poems by James Reidel


      — based on a word by Reed Ghazala

   The egg timer’s pinch,

   Rose sand,

   An ant farm’s shower,

   Ampoule to ampoule, dust to dust,

   Three minutes of not trapped between floors,

   The camel heaven.

   You won’t need a beach of it to know,

   Was it good for you?—

   Just enough to pave emery boards.

   They dispense like fortune sticks and I am the only 
     one who’s ever

   Put them in my spokes,

   Made the clothespin fight a finger like dinosaurs 
     until the spring

   Squirts out like an eyeball. I am the only one ever

   To see a drinking bird get his fill.


   We rethrifted them and all his cat’s cradle rigging belt loop 
       3 and 5 to make them meet,

   The way widower’s sew, which you can tell he did blind,

   Part from tying up tomatoes and beans in their leaves,

   Part guess-which-hand when he gave you a quarter.

   All the knots and pulls in the packing twine are quite where 
   quipu met Braille for this one time

   To record every subtraction from his waist that once 
       gaped for him

   Like the 30-gal. Glad bag at our feet.

   We search his pockets and get rich on diamonds of pilled 

   The half sticks of Juicy Fruit torn like tickets to someplace 
        still sweet and gray.

   A matchbook cover folded to a painted fan for 1,000 

   Kleenex with a little blood and a canary’s funeral for a 
       yellow tooth.

  We stuffed an enormous pillow of trousers that you
       could almost hug,

  Disturbing only a little its black and green smell.

The Adirondack Review
JAMES REIDEL is currently working on a long piece about the novelist Theodora Keogh. His poems frequently appear in TAR.