It takes time for anEnglish boxwood to make itself noticed,
Like a big fish that goes deep when everything is on fire.
The land surrounding the tent was all pages from a book –
A rare edition bound in vellum and gold, something you would
Swipe, a four-hundred-year old five find, in a cardboard box
At a stoop sale. Excuse my distraction. They are having a party
Above me and snippets sift down blown like black knives.
I am hurt at not being invited. But you say can you blame them.
A lady in distress said, “You’re good with the vigilante groups.”
I told her I knew the meaning of her words. She had her car
Handles torn off the night before. They had been tormenting her
For twelve years. I told her how sorry I was and ordered
A half-pound of turkey. Things are turning discursive
Here and there after fourteen years here in the city. I resist
Like a golden retriever spitting out a banana. I have nearly
Counted all the little black holes on the wall.
May it Serve You Well
I had too much cake, and I’m all sugared up.
Her accent gave her origin away – a lass in red.
The troubadours couldn’t keep their distance,
A touch was like the watercolors of the distance.
You swallow what you are dying to ask:
Do you really not notice us? Does the pomade
You told the magazine you like
Not catch your eye in what you call real life.
You are the littlest one in the cast and feign
To divine the show engulfing all your admirers.
We brush it off, pretend that we are not your suitors
When the real action is the hope for your hand.
When word got out, the guard locked me away
In solitary confinement in the Red Castle’s basement.
Nothing soft to huddle with, no one to confess to
Just these petty crimes that make you softly laugh.
Mebane Robertson is a writer and musician based in Brooklyn. His new volume An American Unconscious is due out from Black Widow Press in late summer 2014. Read more about his work, and check out his Signal from Draco: New & Selected Poems here.