April 16-22, 2012: Jay Levon and Gretchen A. Bateman

week of April 16-22, 2012

Jay Levon and Gretchen A. Bateman

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Jay Levon
POTW@PoetrySuperHighway.com

Bio (auto)

Jay was born in the Ozark Mountains to a family of dirt farmers, musicians, preachers, and other such miscreants. He now lives in Mountain Home, Arkansas with a latex she-bot named Lola, and the occasional dead hooker.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jay Levon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Jimmy and the Train

There were
three of us.
Jimmy,
David,
and me,
who sat
in back
of the class,
stoned and
acid buzzed,
seeing visions
of nothing.
I wanted
to be a poet,
or a rock star.
David wanted
to be
an artist.
Jimmy wanted
to be
dead.
I swear
that was
his goal.
“I’ll never
live
past thirty
anyway, so
fuck it.”
We used
to drink
Boone’s farm
by the
railroad tracks,
and when
a train came
howling
around the curve
we would stand
between the rails,
and give
the engineer
the bird.
At the last
minute
we would
duck out of
the way.
David always
moved first,
then me,
then Jimmy.
Jimmy would
wait until
the headlight
singed his
hair.
Crazy fuck.
We would
laugh and
drink more.
David died
in a car wreck.
Jimmy didn’t
die.
He’s almost 40.
I still
want
to be a poet.

Cicada

The night he died
I was living in a cabin
in the woods.
Isolated, and without
electricity, or phone cords,
I was teaching myself
guitar by firelight.
18 years old, I was
strong and without fear,
this was before life &
time kicked my ass.
Before the universe
conspired against me.
Before I conspired
against myself.
A knock sounded
at the door.
My cousin telling me
that I needed
to call my father,
but would not, or could not,
tell me why.
In darkness I ran
to the country store,
and used the pay-phone.
My father answered
with voice sounding
cracked and ancient.
“Your brother had
an accident.”
“Is he alright?”
“No.”
“Is he dead?”
“Yes.”
Like a bad actor,
I dropped the phone
and sat hard
in the dust.
The Cicadas
were singing,
what seemed to me,
the saddest song.
This life would never
be the same.

Birthday Wishes

Once, long ago,
she asked what I wanted
for my birthday.

“Anal sex,” I replied
as a joke,
kind of.

“Maybe,” she said
and laughed,
kind of.

I think she gave me
a book.
It was kind of disappointing.

 

 



 Gretchen A. Bateman
gbeachbum.464@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Gretchen A. Bateman is a writer from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by  Gretchen A. Bateman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Unpacking

The cruel irony is
the 50 boxes bursting
the yellowing tape
holding the memories
Scream
You can take it
with you because
objects don’t just
disappear
like some people do
intent to remind
and to continue
breaking, like china cups
fragile hearts