July 13-19, 2009: CL Bledsoe and Michael Lira

week of July 13-19, 2009: 

CL Bledsoe and Michael Lira

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CL Bledsoe

Bio (auto)

CL Bledsoe is the author of three collections: _____(Want/Need), Anthem, and Riceland, forthcoming this fall Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in the New York Quarterly, Barrow Street, the Arkansas Review, Mud Luscious Press, and Right Hand Pointing He is an editor for Ghoti Magazine http://www.ghotimag.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by CL Bledsoe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Bone waited till I was asleep, in the head,  oc
cupid with ______ (myself/non-transient things) something
I obviously don’t remember or else I’d have noticed Bone

took his time freeing himself from my chest He left
no splinters He was courteous to his waitress and tipped
meaningfully Bone made sure to always wear

appropriate ______ (shoes/headwear) for the oc
casion Bone never mixed liquor with beer, or white
wine with red Bone avoided pink entirely Bone strolled

through the door, taking nothing, not even the loose change
in the ashtray in the living-room Bone never told a girl he
loved her just to feel like a human being Bone sent a postcard

from his new job It was a picture of a hole There’s nothing
there, it said Nothing to block UV rays, nothing to hide
forgotten bills behind Bone always knew the shape

of my heart There was no return address No stamp,
only a smudge in the corner indicating
almost anything
(Originally appeared in Barrow Street)

The Country

We wrap her in a blanket, nurse
her with yogurt, drops of water
on her lips, force antibiotics
into her mouth and hope
she swallows, anything She hates us
for our violation, but the worry is too great
for manners Through the window,
with her squirming in my arms,
I count seven butterflies, fluttering
yellow with black spots, stripes;
Hollywood to a lepidopterist, perhaps,
but moving to me Overgrown Russian sage
envelopes the porch, the French doors, bees
float, whole flocks of birds I can’t name
descend together like some sort of tide In the evenings, deer graze like
cattle, unafraid Again and again, I wonder:
how could anything die here?

(Originally appeared in Borderlands)


I wanted to have dinner waiting
with flowers and candles when
you came home I wanted
to tell you that you’re wanted
in such a way that it would reverberate
for days, weeks, years
But I worked late, had to help
a student with her paper, hit
traffic on the way home I bought
dinner from Fresh Market, instead,
arranged it on plates, bought flowers but forgot
candles You were late, too,
so I cleaned the bathroom,
while the food cooled and turned
hard The laundry is folded, the dishes
are in the machine This
is love Believe it I’ll get candles
(Originally appeared in The Dead Mule)

Michael Lira

Bio (auto)

My name is Michael and I have lived my entire life in the town of Superior except for when I toured with the Uncle Sam Blues ensemble those places I would have never had the opportunity to see on my own Right now I drive a ’79 Chevy Caprice (a real gas hog) to one of the many Zoo’s in Florence where I work kissing the animals asses .

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Michael Lira and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


As a teenager I took notice how
every morning the same sliver of sunlight
shivered in my bedroom There was never enough dust particles
in the air to clothe her
(and the Gap still don’t make jeans
that fit the thighs of sunlight) Procreation had robbed her blind!
Wasting flesh on winos
and the testicles and the ovaries
of teenagers and radio personalities Even rainbows get frog skins,
she would always cry I had christened her, Clockwork
because like clockwork
everyday she waited patiently (for skin)
until the afternoon gave her wings
and scooted her along .

The Stars Hang Just Over Our Heads

Because there is no longer a roof
from the balcony seating at the condemned Uptown Theater
I am able to help the girls of Pleiades
back up into the skeletal remains of the stratosphere Tonight the stars hang just over our heads That is why I lucked out like I did
running into Pleiades at the top of Heiner Drive They are happy that they ran into me, as well To show their gratitude Electra rolls a half-decent joint
and passes it down to me I light it and take a hit Then I pass it back up to her, and the other girls The half-decent joint is passed back and forth
between the balcony seating, and the skeletal remains
of the stratosphere They offer me their hands
so if I want to I can pull myself up into the rafters So we can all be together I remind them
how those heights are reserved for heroes
and helium balloons Not even Da Vinci
let alone me .

Give it up for the Beautiful,
Miss Spring 2003

She stands in front of my town house
peddling oranges, and
wild bouquets of pretty flowers
wearing squadrons of monarch butterflies
that maneuver like Richthofen’s Flying Circus Through an open window
I tug on her body
filling my lungs with the candied pollution
of one hell of a beer-tiful morning The candied pollution having much more of a lift
than if my lungs had been filled with helium
(I am sprawled out over the ceiling) Motherfucker! Spring is already knocking
on the front door
I have yet to kick Winter out of this bed I guess I would much rather have Spring
knocking on the front door than M T.V News
Kurt Loder telling me
what I had already come to suspect
that Black Flag was a boy band
with more rhythm than those new kids
on the block .

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