Sun Poems


Prayer for Kierkegaard.

Oh my dearest God,

I have turned my cleverness

inside, and now I know

all of the shrewd escape routes

of all the crimes that will

ever happen, but I will

never tell. Bless me;

I am a rat in plain sight.


Chicago Poem

From here I can see fifteen

balconies and the top of the bell

tower of a church. A neighbor

across Adam’s alley has been

mowing over the same 200 sq ft.

patch of lawn for 45 minutes like

it is center court at Wimbledon.


Pete is sleeping, Adam is

pretending to sleep, and Nathan

is sleeping.


What is the point of pretending?

To close one’s eyes and to turn one’s shoulder

and to dream just long enough to dream

about waking up and turning off the alarm

and opening the freezer

and pulling out the blue box of Wild Berry Toaster

Strudels and putting one into the toaster and then to

multitask—to go out the back door and to hear the lawn

mower again (hasn’t he stopped?) to flip over the disc

on the third floor landing—it is a demo disc for the Sims 3

and someone left a bag of ginger peach green tea on the third to

last stair on the first flight down and the lawn mower cuts out—and to

hear the toaster make that satisfying mechanical click like the punching of a time card

or like dropping your first item into an empty shopping cart– and to enter the threshold of the

kitchen to realize that you only write poems when you are hungry and to grab the special wooden

toaster tongs and to clip the top of the plastic purple frosting packet and to decide that it’s true—

It’s going to be bright and hot today.



This is the set of a movie wherein fictitious you has sex with your future and also fictitious husband or

wife, it is dark and only the light of a charging cell phone brightens the room.

The bed creaks, knocking against the wall. Light spreads, creeping along the floor to the far wall opposite

the apartment window. On the other side of the wall two children are haggling in the hall.

Child 1: Why you always have root beer?

Child 2: What, now you don’t want it?—that’s cool.

Child 1: No, I still want it it’s just like you always have grape and root beer and you never break them up

right. Didn’t your mom ever teach you how to break your popsicles in two—you gotta push down on the

middle on the edge of your counter. Your counter got edges, right?

Child 1: Can’t reach it.

Child 2: The counter?

Child 1: Yep. So it’s either two bucks for this broke up one in the wrapper or you can keep lookin.

Child 2: Here’s two.

They eat root beer popsicles in the hall and listen to you while you screw in the bedroom.

This is the theater where people have been coming back night after night to see how fictitious you

(who is much more attractive and much better with words) tell your fictitious husband or wife that you

don’t like hair that is parted down the middle and that you would rather flirt than complain while root

beer syrup drips on the spotted grey carpet in the hallway and the balcony of the apartment across the

courtyard is on fire and middle parted hair looks especially bad when the face is asymmetrical and a

woman is standing in the courtyard, crying with a pug in her arms and your fictitious brother calls you

from fictitious suburban northern Massachusetts where the farmers have their own language about the

sky that is neither meteorological nor metaphorical and your brother doesn’t speak that language, so

small talk is hard, which makes selling remedial 4-8 mathematics books door to door especially difficult

and your fictitious future spouse is light blue and naked on a dark blue bed and fictitious future spouse

is laughing and fictitious you is red orange and naked and standing in the light of the balcony fire and

your ass looks great.

This is a poem about how

movies forget that there

are many main plots in reality

that are often not connected

at all. This is a poem is for all the sub

plots that deserved to have their

own feature films. Yes, someone’s getting

married. Yes, a pug and her owner

lost their home. Yes, the children are spying

on couples while they’re having sex and

selling popsicles to each other for 100%

profit. Yes, your brother will be

staying on your couch all summer

long. Yes, hair that is parted down the middle

looks stupid on everyone regardless of facial

symmetry. Yes, the farmers are talking about

the sky in their own way, and even with the

help of a feature film you could never know

what they’re really saying—

unless you are a farmer.



I’m daydreaming

about a rough red

leather suitcase that

I saw in the trunk of my dad’s car.

He bought it in Illesheim in 1981

and he was going to take it to the


unless I wanted it.

I did. But sometimes

parents need only

the slightest indication—

a head nod, a narrowing

of the eyes—to give you

their junk when they

are through with it. That is,

sometimes parents

walk through their houses

and they don’t see couches

and footrests or book

shelves and potpourri bowls

or George Foreman

Grills. Instead, I

suspect, they see

beautiful hot pink cursive

neon signs of your

name and the names

of all your siblings and

suddenly you have a tooth

brush holder in the

shape of an angel fish

that you don’t know

what to do with.

But in the case of the

suitcase, I want it badly.

Cory, I’m going to New York,

and I’ve already thought of

how I am going to fold

my clothes so that they all fit.


Probiotics Poem

Right now I’m feeling the side effects of probiotics.

The label on the medicine bottle

says, “One billion live cells in

every tablet.” Right now I have

a little bit of white powder on

my finger. I lick it off. Maybe

it was one million living cells.

Maybe it was two million living

cells. It’s hard to tell.


Photo courtesy Joydeep

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