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THREE POEMS by C.L. Bledsoe


Radio by C. L. Bledsoe
It's funny how
when we were young and hiding
in unfamiliar bottles,
the houses of strangers
we would've died for, listening to songs

that threw something dark and dripping
on our ears for the first time,
and sent that delicious shiver
of recognition down our backs, because they knew

what it was to hate the world
almost as much as ourselves, to be faced for the first time
with the realization that we were trapped
as sure as a spider in a roach motel; trapped

in the world we were making new each day; it's funny
we never realized they were lying all of them
lying through their teeth.



I have two glasses by C. L. Bledsoe
one with Coke to keep my fingers sharp,
the other with water to drown the burn in my belly

from dinner at Chili's with a dozen people I would like
to call my friends, if perhaps I need to move a couch sometime

or bury the body I hear moaning every time I go
to the kitchen for a refill. A witch is making love

to the moon, this is wind. When the devil beats his wife,
it's thunder. I did not name these, they are old. Either way, they remind me

of the guy at Jack's job who was downloading kiddie porn at work.
What Jack does, is try and find every porn site he can, and name them,

so the computer can block the sites. This is his job because the computer
is stupid, it can only recognize names and words, not content.

So Jack had to spend all day looking at Nabokov's shadow.
Jack ate his buffalo wings with a defeated grin, because he'd never thought

to look for kiddie porn to block, until Eric mentioned that Chili's
doesn't serve chili, or at least, he's never known anyone to order it. This is enough

to make a man forgive himself many trespasses.



New York by C. L. Bledsoe

She sits inside: there are miles of it
ever since the telephone,
ever since the radio;
all of it with windows that open to windows and cramped apartments
that cannot melt ice.

She's older than Mr. Bell, but he thinks it's love. 
He thinks she's a woman or something that can be reached,
that those red baked things holding her up are legs --
that go all the way down to the cracked pavement, 
the trash and no parking spaces; 
like nasty little veins which have begun to show her age.
He thinks he can offer something to someone who's seen it all.

The sadness of womanhood maybe, is as old as her brick work, so that
when it rains the power goes out, and the phones,
because old man Bell, he's on the outside of her,
where it's colder even than the inside.

And she talks about the apple because that's all she knows
or should know, she's a troglodyte
in her cave full of shadows 
passing for people
and rats with wings which are not afraid
of the sound of approaching feet.

If I were to throw a stone into her eyes 
it would make no sound, but when it rains,
and the power goes out;
she sits,
and she waits.



I am an MFA Playwright Candidate at the Univ. of Arkansas. I have poems published or forthcoming in Shampoo Poetry, Story South, Nimrod, and 2 River View, among other places.