Monday, July 22, 2013

NEW! Two poems by Jason Labbe

Jason Labbe

Two poems


I have a blue sliver of hot aluminum.
I have a hot blue sliver in my middle finger.
Just below my knuckle I have a flash
of blue glinting as though the weather 
were fairer than the fluorescent light
of my basement, warmer than the terrible 
voice mail I have informing me 
of the latest sighting. You’re back in town 
and your drunken face is all sunken in.
I have a sister who warns me of you.
I love my sister who hates the smell
of your lies and thieving as much as I do.
I have taken a year to take inventory.
What I have left I have bolted to the floor, 
except this sliver of blue aluminum infecting 
my middle finger. I have a workshop 
in my basement and a father who taught me 
how to design, fabricate, and assemble 
a precision machine. I cut and mill 
and turn and drill. Soon I will complete 
the Blue Machine to protect us from you.
My middle finger finesses my micrometer,
it adjusts the tooling when the dimensions 
from the blue print slip out of tolerance.
My middle finger is primary as the sliver
and grows bluer because I strangle it 
with a silvery blue ribbon, all nice and curled
at its ends. Here, have it and keep it
forever. The rest, everything else you see, 
is for me. But my blue, it gleams for you.


My sleepless ice dwindles 
into the warming arctic, my every 
bit of plastic particulate swirls 
in the North Pacific, my gulf’s green 
suffocates on the dark-slicked banks—
A power line whips the sidewalk
but the images stay up on my screen
shaking so much it’s going to shatter.
The devices stop communicating.
A muscle car calendar scatters from a patio
and the pages catch in the maple 
with the wail of the sirens. 
The thinnest diseased limb snags me, 
I won’t decompose.
The flash flood through the side yard
is white noise at my knees,
I will go on to poison even stardust.
I am one hundred ninety pounds 
of preservatives, antibiotics, and caffeine
rain-soaked and panicking for shelter.
I was too late to board the doors, I forget 
the warning and press my chest 
against both sides of the picture window.
My last locatable belief was in the shift 
from weird grey to the lightness 
of a pickup truck, now all I know is
I would bury this berserk wind 
and collect the neon Chemlawn clippings 
blowing through the blown out
cellar window, my next spring
gone well before the first snow—
My affinity for unseasonable weather
cools. I collect and count the wet blades
and strip away the pesticides 
with my teeth. O my polar ice cap
creeping toward a lower river, O
my crowning ozone a hundred tons 
of satellite wreckage crashes through,
O my beloved house whose roof 
ripped clean off takes out the pages 
but not the siren in the maple.
My roof takes off the top of the maple.

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