Four Poems by David Greenspan

MY NAME IS PHILIP AND I AM AN EQUATION

She does not much care
to daydream of blue
though when she sits
naked in the window,
she is silent always
of ghost. She is only
a child rising through
this water like warm
dirt and she now cuts
my fingernails.
My dear fingernails
she cuts carefully
so as not to disturb
the rattlesnakes lying
beneath. This music
box is a small theft.
Our children are many
photographs in a shoe
and our house is not
a shoe. Our house is
raw muscle wrapped
in holiday paper. Never
absent of its beloved
tobacco – our house,
a pigeon and yes all
the wood-grain inside.
This pigeon snaps now
its slender, pretty neck
and our bed is made
anxious of glass and
anxious of moss. She
will not swallow panic
spilling from my fingers.
Our house, a landscape
of teeth yellow. Our house,
a safety pin inside my arm
and tonight we cry often.
Tonight antidepressants,
the most sincere ache.

 

MY NAME IS FRANCIS AND THUNDER POURS FROM MY COLLAR

And with her I dance
hand in old hand
across this parking lot.
This parking lot now
boasts its magnificent
children and their skin
yellow. They yell often
towards the river –
you have no children
and you are barren as
something very barren.

I ask her to meet me
at the roadside bar
and always I pour
whiskey in her milk.
After we are drunk
on whiskey and paint
fumes, I bite her
dimples. I bite her
dimples as the sky
turns to glue and
everything else
it also turns to glue.
This parking lot –
its prized yellow
children all turn
to glue. Listen now
rubber screeches
and beneath her
tongue is a freeway.
With no conception
of fog we are only
clouds of bird-smoke.

 

MY NAME IS STEVEN AND PLEASE DO NOT COME ANY CLOSER

Inside this house of glue
and matchstick, yellow
smoke rises soft. I call
only her riot a mosquito
drunk off hard-cider.
Her eyelids hidden in
the mattress and I lick
salt from the birdhouse
strung along July sweat.
Often dandelion grows
from her eyes and its color
pours through my hands.
My hands, drink now this
color pouring through
my dear hands. I call
only her riot a prayer
for brushfire. Pay now
the junkies no mind.
Their lives are riverbed,
cracked lung. I call only
her riot how the junkies
are chewing tobacco.
I call only her riot how
the junkies sing joy
when light disappears
into this soil. I call
only her riot how
their bones are full
of ink, of blue, of pigeon.
I call only her riot how
the junkies cry blackberry.

 

MY NAME IS ANDREW AND THE BASEBALL IS GROWING TEETH

I press my thumb
to my father, to his
neck with no music.
I put my arm over his
shoulders. Tonight
we are at a ball game
and tonight what else
are a father and son
to do. Look father –
many railroad tracks
in leftfield and look
father now look,
a boxcar. Let us
follow this boxcar
to the pine trees
and father tell me
do they sway heavy
from bird-smoke.
Answer me, does it
even matter. Tonight,
tonight please father,
tonight we eat hotdogs
with extra ketchup
and tonight we drink
five beers each, yes.
Peanuts and safety pin,
this pitcher cannot throw
a strike. The pine trees
father, now let us go
to the pine trees. Let us
go with much rattle
to the pine trees father.
Father let us go with awe.

 


About the Author:

David Greenspan is the author of How They Strike a Balance (forthcoming from Nephew); as well as the chapbooks i tried to bear the elephants and lost (NAP) and Then (Turtleneck Press). David’s poem have appeared, or will soon, in alice blue, Anti-, Midwestern Gothic, West Branch, and Whiskey Island. Find him online at DavidGreenspan.blogspot.com.