by Joshua McDermott
The kind of summer where your
friend sees a dirty deal go down
in a dim light parking lot –
some guy paying sixty
for sweaty socks –
and takes it in stride.
As for me, I’ve seen two falling
meteoroids, white blue, burning up
over the alfalfa fields. Also had
a little girl draw me a picture
with a heart on it. Handed it to me
and waited for me to smile;
I almost cried instead.
The kind of summer where you
lay around in an abandoned apartment
(true story) in the gutted part of town
(100 year old tree crashing into
bungalow living rooms) and feel
finally like you have somewhere
to relax with your skinny woman.
I’ve been living in the back room
of Ulises’s Mexican mother’s house,
13k a year, so apologetic about life that
I’m sneaking cold little folded
tacos out of the fridge
after they’ve gone to work and I’ve
nothing to do but watch the coverage
of the Pocatello fires, Local News 8.
The kind of summer
where you use your money
like it was meant to be used –
on cheap hotels with greenish blue
midnight pools, stale weight rooms,
a bed for your woman and you –
star crossed, homeless (almost).
It gets to the point where you lose
your ability to discern
between beauty (Teewinot, four moose on god mountain)
and poverty (two thrift stores a day, Wal-mart food)
and so you just feel
0 thoughts on “God Mountain”
This poem describes a mood that sustains itself, over a summer at least, into a sensibility. This sensibility is as close to being hopeless as the line between the Grand Teton range and the flat plateau from which it arises (my simile), and yet is “at peace” for not being able “to discern between beauty…and poverty.” The details representing these two extremes are graphic and personal, and have the power to define this line for us because they are “true.” Of such things are exquisite poetic sensibilities made, which can pick up on many wondrous and despairing things and then bring us to the poem’s surprising but believable conclusion.
wow, the mood this poem evokes is mystical. more from Joshua McDermott!