Some characters come back in
from the Green Night like the low brown
of the slow gray trains & sunken
salvage yards of Omaha.
A few things go horribly wrong. The beginning
becomes the ending &, dear reader,
there is no
ending. The people come and go
and then not
appear. Most are seen
from far away. Grain bins lean in to listen.
Max stumbles home with a penis
inked on his forehead.
Ominous belly-growls from deep
forest. A cold wind off many brown rivers.
I am writing this last.
Max holds the bones of a small child
in his mouth. Rattle, rattle, rattle him to sleep.
The bare white room. The grain bins
lean in to listen from the Green
of dark corn. The sun rise comes on
like a pink and purple barroom neon.
if the moon ever really mattered,
Max lays down his toolbox heart.
Click here to listen to poet Matthew Graham read "Cornscape"
Max Gives a Poetry Reading
I was reading this poem down at the local old-folks home
how death comes surely and painfully to us all
felt the strong desire to tell them my
taking-a-shit-on-acid story & my-friend-Moon-who-snorted-the-
& I questioned
all the while still reading my poem about how death comes surely &
painfully to us all
where I go on in the poem to say how death is just the fucking ace
of spades no delusional heaven of harps and white & that
even as the heart stops or the brain
takes the o-my-god snap of a tired aneurism there are some
seconds there where we unfurl like
white sheets on a summer
wind holding us aloft
before our gods
I could tell by some looks that the farmwives in the audience really
got what I
I listened to the orchestra of oxygen
tanks and thought of Moon
his own grace
from a Les Paul's low E & how he played that guitar
this took me back to my strong
desire & to thinking of my getting-
I saw a man staring off into the institutional peach space behind me &
Leslie Ann in the moonlight a gravel road I probably wouldn't do
different about that night even if I had the chance all my best stories
involve a going up & a
I made a decision
I worked it into the
poem about Leslie Ann & the gravel road
& even the moonlight just one line &
I was pleased to see how well
it went over after all
that business about unfurling & being held before a god
Click here to listen to poet Robert Wrigley read "Max Gives a Poetry Reading"