Evan Gray

From BY US TORN IN TWO: an experiment of self

 

+++

 

he spits everything out of his heart. it rains down on everyone. that’s what they said about god. the patriarch. the Michael Jordan of systematic oppression. my clothes are too heavy from this wetness. his heart now aching green pastures on HWY-163. pretend this isn’t a place but a pinball machine. my setting. my life is a two-ball excursion. the bar is double points. the stirring up family comments about church and past relationships. you play for free if your car breaks down. then everyone dies. in real life. mental or physical. my hair will be covering my eyes. in real life this is not a bomb. so I am trapped forever. sleep is now nestles in furs. english is a twisted spruce long fire. tongues fed to the dogs.

 

+++

 

verb—to tears. I am so lonesome I could. weep so similar to—to bawl to loudly as in wail.  outlaw’s hands are moldered wooden pallets—the local rats of his wrist. watch rubs at the arthritis. Texas has eaten the rest of the south. in this distant future and there is not vegetation. we are all thirsty and picking scabs. outlaw is trying to kill himself by covering his mouth. the sun of the ghost in nightmares of hotel rooms. hookers after they are fucked up. even the rooms are caved in the dirt. now he makes love to himself here. in a barn trying to die. he is both. he is loyal and the heat of his hands make him wish it was over. before we left dad had a good truck. the way the moon asked. I’m too tired to write a poem about the this. my life is a roughly a thousand mornings and my teeth are aching. this is a state of mind I say.

 

+++

 

this is country music a radio announcer broadcasts. but not in today’s news. in order to make something new. we work backwards. I guess the difficulty of the self is marking when we die. where are we going. where did we begin. the idea of strange man. a lotto folded above the sun visor in the car.  what if the story was happening around us and each of the symbols are participants. a domain. a level to reach. but the main character. us. gets stabbed in heart or through the cut with money. while I sit on the couch eating my chipotle burrito. I see it happening. a squeeze of currents beans drooling from my mouth. the spring feeding creeks and pines. contagious if I can taste that tree flowing air. hallelujah the pond pasted by the rock quarry. its on the church road and I looked because I needed to make sure it was there. in my mind it was. in my eyes. it was never. and on the surface just a bug tucked in light. victim to a rock bass. this is the darkest hour of feeding.

 

 

+++

 

this is his john deer he won’t be able to drive. you look like an unfolded porch patio. the mums or rock basin blooming. consequence is what’s left of this story. road times and RC cola bottles. today is a possibility. oh yeah. and it’s out of context. anyone interested in that is just a matter of actors. the story is the problem is. the problem is where are we. tomorrow morning. I’m tired. my life is

forming. every day is my birthday but my birthday is my nightmare. the sounds bear me along your light-bearing paths like. the fact is he lives and dies in the woods.

 

 

+++

 

 

wayward water bubbled up when we or him said

to drowned is to just need. to strangle on it. technically you have

 

 

time to drowned. I thought to myself. rocks edible by numbers

and her mother tied to a meadow. by an old woman the road is waiting

 

 

for visitors. was I wrong to want to get hit by the car speeding

past. his church pews are empty. they said that suddenly. Sunday

 

 

the family coughed all service. people say they see black panthers

in the woods of home all the time. tripping the flash of trail cameras.

 

 

rhododendron infected at the roots gushing no growth or green

turns to black. there a dying robin nested. falling out this year. this morning

 

 

put back by my mother. a baby picked from the ground with storm eyes

like a record playing or piles of sticks. the kitchen table. take your coat off. stay

 

 

a while. spin me around the living room with coke in your coffee cup. billows

of breath plucked in front of the courthouse after I left the driveway.

 

 

what good is a walk in the woods if my mind is not with me. Spanish moss

swinging with a touch of tree bark. neighbor’s wheelchair. recycling cracking

 

 

after last nights frost. april 22 first day of spring or trout season

frost. every year as long as anyone can remember. tulips unclothed in

 

 

black tarps. off 221 by the electric company sign. windshield rubber stuck

to the glass sun. peaks from passing eyelashes into a fading. more but I am

 

 

afraid. snake dens and yellow jackets. unmarked bear cliffs jagged as I

feel. then already why is this silence or spatial. trees cover the skyline.

 

 

 

 

Evan-Gray-Dream-Pop-PressEvan Gray is the author of the chapbook Blindspot (The Rest (Garden-Door Press ’17) and a graduate of UNCW’s MFA program. His work has been featured in Word For/Word, Yalobusha Review, Inter rupture, and others. Gray currently lives and works in Wilmington, NC.