the avocado cartwheel

the avocado cartwheel
by travis catsull
the phone was ringing when the power went out
and water rose and ran pantoumly
only to kneel for its own cold muse
the maintenance of morning
and the vast edges of my breath
as i buried another fish
in a row of sunflowers
as she looked like a lemon
“oh my darling
oh my darling
oh my darling clementine
you are lost and gone forever”
sorry clementine l. halfpenny
you were a good fish
you are now in heaven
where the bloodworms
and tropical waters
soothe your golden gills
these thick set things
and the fragility withdrawing
must be like some wild goose
standing on a laminated atlas
as the fashionable quays toward
airport buckle in the guts of afternoon
where the supple hoops of st. francis
have no words for what is done
no dominate theory
we make noises to fill our paper tiaras
postpone them to scrapyards
and the load bearing walls
are full of shasta cans
and firebrick flake
we wait for feathers to fall
thru a needle’s eye
in hopes our vision
fleshes a perfect text
to build a belt of english ivy
on which to swing across
the 1st
you can see them from far away
with the muttering drains
near the nights i can’t sleep
near some sluggish approach
‘top the grass of tomorrow
but the tough potpourri
the table wafers
and the household creatures
fill our dreams with unstressed syllables
so none of us spread scurvy at the office
shooting from the hip at a broken can
is itself the song of the ungovernable bone
so i’ve accepted my shake of cedar coins
to be worth their weight in light
i do not expect it to get easier
but i do expect my expectations to meet
to meet
to meet and kiss

0 thoughts on “the avocado cartwheel

  1. ‘Psss!’ ow–this poem is hot with word-craft! Break-up of spacing keeps reader in poem for this longer work. Personification (‘water rose and ran pantoumly’ [as in a soundless pantomime?] and ‘…with the muttering drains’ a nice touch. I sensed the 1st 3 lines were describing the incident leading to the death of the fish, and did not fully understand details of aquarium–but hey, too much info gives it away, right (plus I’m generally ignorant). That’s what’s nice about a poem like this–you keep re-reading and seeing things/perspectives you didn’t see before. My favorite lines were: “…shooting from the hip at a broken can/is itself the song of the ungovernable bone”. Cool piece!

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