Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Neologism, In Between Hangovers, and Clementine Unbound, among others.
ABOVE US THE SUN
In the darker days our ancestors
would settle the highest mountains.
To be close to the sun was to be bathed
in the light of wisdom, it was said.
The peaks, of course, were reserved
for the healers, shamen, priests, and elders
who would lead the rest to glory.
The desert has no need for mountains,
yet it has them anyway. It is possible
to stand anywhere, almost, and receive
the wisdom that comes with carcinogens,
peeling, reddened blisters.
Now, as then, those most charred
are also, often, those with the most to say.
And shamen, these days, are considered deranged.
Picacho Peak, high above the dust of I-10.
The rains have stopped and bursts of flower
are scattered everywhere, fingerpaints
of some divine child. Atop its bulk
hikers sweat, rest, take pictures, are burnt
beyond the skin. Clouds behind them
feathered fire in sunset. I stand
at its base, just another traveller, arms red
with belief, with prophecy.
With him came the sun.
His smile, his bloodied hands
were signs. They told us
what to do, and we did.
The pub owners threw
their doors open, the butcher
gave away short ribs.
A bonfire, built to honor
The next day, as we feasted,
the troops returned.
Their hands, too, were bloody.
They did not smile. They stood,
erect, and accepted
the gifts and praise
we heaped upon them.
When asked why they stayed
stern, one said, “it is our job”.
The emperor came that night
to feast with us, decorate
the troops. He lit
the bonfire, led us
in the songs of remembrance.
THE MAN IN THE GABARDINE SUIT
like 2:30AM yesterday
2:30AM the day before
a car in the street
growl of engine
of WIP sports radio
and windows open
a few minutes later
it is gone
Second at Sandown, turf dead.
Recent rain's ghost still haunts
cannot go gate to wire,
convention says. The crowd,
perhaps blind, backs eleven,
in his third start. He's never finished
worse than last. My two drifts
up, and up; he needs the lead,
will set the pace, be swallowed
in the stretch at ten to one.
The ghost of rain is light,
a fast rider
on a quicker horse. The two
springs forth, out the chute
with rockets in his shoes,
is never headed. Gate to wire.
Twenty to win pays
two hundred ten in dividend.
I must learn to do the rain dance
The world's heart pumps black
through the arteries of the sky
black spiders rush to complete
the picture. If only you had raised
your arms that much faster.
The rebirth is not going well,
and the seven experiments
on the tables around you
twitch with impulse
rather than will.
You await lightning,
dance for rain,
but clouds of arachnids
look down and mock you.
You have had better days.