JAY SIZEMORE - POEMS
Jay Sizemore was born blue, raised by wolves, and learned to write by translating howls. He doesn't regret his wisdom teeth. He thanks you for your concern and hopes you enjoy his words dipped in ink. His work can be found here or there, mostly there. Find him at jaysizemore.com, or, if you're a stalker, in Nashville, TN, where he may or may not really exist.
A Brexit, a brack zit, a brown-yellow Brit shit
Britain oh Britain, brash and brazen,
bracting like your borders are brawless and broly,
your broken brontract is bankrupting the branet.
Brainless oh brainless Britain!
Brewing brouhaha and baking broughnuts for breakfast.
Bragging of brides of English brescent,
brooding and bereft, a broad braxation of brejudice.
Britain takes an owl’s beak and breaks it.
Britain brandishes bratwursts like bayonets.
Britain oh Britain, again a bargain of brandy,
broomed under the brothel door, a brush up a dust up,
feel your breasts up, sex text your ex and Brexit.
Could I be happy?
A cat in a square of sun
on the hardwood floor.
Could I learn to play guitar again
just for the sake of music
making my body a tuning fork
struck against the light?
The medication isn’t working.
The world tears at me
like briars along a wooded path
at night, and the future is a maniac
close behind, his chainsaw
sputtering smoke and noise.
Could I learn to be myself?
Turn off the notifications
causing phantom vibrations
in my side. Turn off the addiction
to voices in the ether
shaping the swirling reflection
I find cupped in my hands.
Could I learn to love the silence?
These words are the planks
I weave into my splintery raft,
and soon I set sail
across a sea whose other side
has only been seen in dreams.
Don’t follow me.
A classic literary life in three stanzas
When he walked out of the bedroom
in a diaper and his grandfather’s boots,
leathers riding past his mid-thigh,
he staggered like some tiny Frankenstein,
so they gave him a bolt of lightning
and told him to change the world.
When they pulled those boots off him,
he’d nearly outgrown them,
his crib now a Pequod
listing among the waves,
his lightning now a lifeline,
he wrestled the future like a fisherman,
hook set in the fin of a whale,
trying to put a condom on inside out,
trying to tame the butterflies for pets
that grew inside his chest,
his heart sealed tighter than a mason jar
the colors faded from their wings
like that smile between her legs,
where even fairies couldn’t clap back to life,
their still bodies made him a man
so afraid to die
he wrote himself letters,
placed them in wine bottles,
hurled them out the window
into the belly of that whale
he once considered his enemy.
They couldn’t wash the blood from the moon,
night of the summer solstice,
night of grim-set mouths, hands plunged deep
in silk-lined pockets, restless and rageless.
The camera phones lit faces in their windows
wanting to Instagram the memory
they wouldn’t have tomorrow,
full moon dipped in transmission fluid,
of the god damned God.
Fifty-two senators awe-shucks-ing
their way to another list of names
fed through America’s lotto machine
of human teeth and brass shell casings
rattling like death’s labored lungs.
They’ll show you pictures
of children lost so young,
their parents become living ghosts
of a slide projection reel,
haunting rooms of muted coughs
and anxious feet shuffling
to nowhere and for nothing.
Get your Lebron James jerseys,
before the next Powerball drawing,
before the heatwave
to end all heatwaves
burns down the redwoods
and every quiet place worth saving,
before the lightning bugs
sleep forever in the soil
rather than waste their light
on a world that doesn’t want it.
This is the slow repetition of surrender
that pulls back the hammer
and places the gun to the temple
just because it can.
Grand Canyon convenience
~after Walt Whitman
O canyon! Grand Canyon! the daylight slowly fades.
The final notes from a golden horn, ever so softly played.
Plans are drawn, crows are cawin’, the curtain is falling
on a lifetime of erosion, a river’s quiet calling.
It’s death! Cold death!
The heart of a Coke machine!
To fill the land with quarters,
and give the cliffs gangrene.
O canyon! Grand Canyon! preserve your majesty,
in the face of destruction, one must lose their modesty.
They’d see your bosom marred with scarring,
a cancer of coffee beans and souvenir shop parking.
This canyon! Our canyon!
Is more than a Coke machine!
This land holds time’s thread
traced through a river’s vein.
The bulldozers idle like growling dogs, iron teeth set on edge,
the canyon has no words but wind for its own defense.
They’ll say that beauty, like memory, naturally fades,
they’ll say this life is a sucker waiting to be played.
Stand up! Preserve majesty!
Defend beauty as if your spleen,
for when beauty is buried in change
we give our souls gangrene.