Jay Aquinas Thompson

Art: Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr Leonard Cohen


from WINTER

bare trees flare & blood
rushes up—–on a pink lawn
the moon imprints itself
riding—-in my three coats I’m
pin-pricked & brimming over
electrified & singing whitely
hot & cold at once


*


I don’t like your burning-jewel poetics
I say life’s not like that
not from any theory the chestnut leaf
sprouts
icicles & drops heavy off its bough when I flip through your book
& my sweaters feel a tiny bit
warmer than the drawer they’re in


*


the completed throb goes through me
when I see the unhefted dumbbell my cock gets
stiff when I think of a certain mouth
the cowboy sings yesterday’s dead
& tomorrow’s blind & the café people turn
sweet as soon as the snow
starts to stick stirring in cream


*


moon-scarred ceilings & marble walls
somewhere wide & dark
where your rippleless voice drops
it isn’t good—–to slip into
that room-temperature chamber
where no voice says I
& no finger scratches AM


*


times I’ve circled the room
panting for the comfort
of my comfort things
times I’ve watched myself from the dark
naked & disgraced
come and credit lines all
subtle in the channels of my body


*


my face swells in the teaspoon
a sentence of Michael Palmer’s
your hair’s heavy barley
color catches light did you hear
we detect
distant planets from their—–stars’ wobble
now & taste their atmospheres in silhouette

FORTUNE

I alone
—–met him a

second time
—–fridge weathering

white

as if
—–ornament

opened
—–season’s

snowfall so
—–heavy it

floats like
—–candlelight

from ON SURRENDER

You know now what I didn’t know then

that becoming is secret—–like a curl of smoke

like a plural sky

permanent day

that wintersmell

of slowed rot—–waking up & wailing


*


Days we prune—–& fret for teacher

A city crew cuts the brains out of my oak

to run powerlines

& railed sky through—–bud-knobs daubed

by rain—–days despite

their lived thickness—–gone full gone


*


The dying windowbox kale

a face

I can’t stand to look at the way

the moon seems

to contract in its—–climb past landscape

where have you been & what have you done

*


The sun teaches me its green tiger grammar

the Christmas tree snaps up—–a Section 8 block on short sale

& bursts the girders

with its deaf flame

the Sunday breadline circles

the slum block of the sergeant’s throat to strangle him

*


someone taught us abundance so

we burned the bare cherry trees

named the trick bowl grief

we found empty

& overflowing—–fanned our-

selves with handfuls of snow


Jay Aquinas Thompson is a poet, essayist and critic with recent work in Denver Quarterly, Berfrois, The Conversant, Kenyon Review Online, THEthe_poetry, and Poetry Northwest, where he’s a contributing editor. He lives with his family in Seattle, where he teaches creative writing to incarcerated women.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: