No place better to be somebody who leaves out
the XXX from the ( ) when the only light in the hall
is blown from some unresolved bout between hope
and fear, as if ( ) wasn’t enough to keep our doubts
about having given too many wishes to XXX when all
bets were off on the $$, which has been used, mind you,
to turn the weather in parts of the world where dope
suffices for food [who believes this?] or a man’s clout
is foretold by the shape of his face just like a large haul
of blue lobsters promises hurricanes or death by rope,
and such predictability requires faith or $$ because who
has time to take the staircase when we all are running
away from the moon despite signs that a good truth
ends a question no one asks aloud—are you coming?
out of love for the gesture that is a poem
a house tries to anthropomorphize
A house beside a freeway on the fault of America
is one lonely place. To change the vibration, accept
the metaphor. Let the poem expose its credentials.
It is not treason to allow the object to act as if human,
but smugly “non-western.” A c-o-w-b-o-y wrangles
errant ontologies. A c-o-w-b-o-y wants to go home
to her house beside a freeway on the fault of America
and read a poem that ends like this: and that is how
I learned to love the impossible. To change the vibration,
a house must stop blaming America for its neediness,
for being such a constant bore about it all, as though
there is nothing else to speak of. When a gesture
outlasts the weather and no one notices, that is America—
one lonely place to be impossible, adrift as a poem.
Wendy S. Walters is a poet and lyricist. Her chapbook, Birds of Los Angeles, is soon to be released with Palm Press (www.palmpress.org). She has published poems in a number of journals including Seneca Review, nthposition.com, The Yalobusha Review, Nocturnes (Re)view and Callaloo. Other current projects include Loving Family, a lyric-theatre piece with composer Derek Bermel in development with the Music Theatre Group (NY) as well as a full-length collection of poems. She is Assistant Professor of English at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI (USA).