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March 11, 2019 Poetry

Four Poems

Doug Paul Case

Four Poems photo

I Have No Idea How Tall I Am

That can’t be me in this photograph…

Who would believe the landscape,
the boundary of the print’s white border?

Fingertips and a smudge and a smudge—
we might as well have erased the reflection,

the memory card.

How long will we last?

All I want for my birthday is one of those cameras that needs a 3.5” floppy disk for storage,
that or a rock into the streetlight.

We could see the stars.

How did they get in here?

 

 

Corner Table

This is the same table, I could
swear, at Michael’s Uptown Café,
where, I’m sure, I saw him last,
that wisp of a love I’d mistaken
for a hurricane, who looked slightly
like the young fraternity man
at the next table, beautiful,
his eggs runny and his attention
not on his companions but
his phone, the ambient jazz
surely as unrecognizable to him
as it is to me. It’s fine.
I’ve got cornmeal pancakes, coffee,
apple-smoked bacon, more coffee,
and, just across the room, playing
busboy, Juniper Perón, adorable
out of drag, bubbling like he’d
forgotten how to walk without heels,
perhaps hung-over. Who isn’t.
It’s the Sunday after a show.
She’d been magnificent, a strutting,
corsetted Lana in red…and what
an expensive feeling this is,
deciding to whom I’d rather give
the world, if ever I should have it.

 

 

Everyone Says Things Like

“you can’t set a poem at midnight in the rain” but they’re also be unable to help feeling gravity most when walking outside at midnight in the rain because most days we feel the rain is the only reminder we have that we’re anchored to the world that everything is coming down on us that without tons and tons of rocket fuel and a rocket to strap ourselves into we are stuck grounded fucking screwed when things start getting real and no one will ever know how much time we have and no one knows how much rain it would take to clean everything off and no one knows even when the rain will start yes they say they do but they’re lying

 

 

In the Future Every Olympian Will Be Gay

Okay I still can’t chill out about Adam Rippon,
gold and fully beautiful and beautifully speaking

truth to power and fiercely himself and thank god!
In high school I would’ve died to see him twirl

on the ice, recorded it on VHS to rewind and replay
like I did the TV special of Footloose, sneaking down

to the basement for the locker room scene
over and again, would've, dear lord,

wallpapered my room with his ESPN cover.
I’m so into young queers having role models on the news

but still I see myself watching in shame, transfixed
knowing my father’s disapproval upstairs, not

realizing for years that, yes, things actually
get better, and if this is queer futurity, this

rapid reimagining of what the past could’ve been
and should once again be, thank you, thank you, Adam!

The future is tethered to your glittering present.
In my daydreams I see nothing but your sashaying,

so full of longing, this gilded emoji I call a heart!
In my bloodstream I feel nothing but your glee.

Here, the introduction of the body into the poem,
of the ice into the body, of the skater… I promised myself

I wouldn’t turn this into a sex poem, never mind, oh,
the million things I could think to do with you,

never mind the reason being nothing I predict in poems
ever seems to materialize. There is hope and then

there is the future, the sculpted athlete’s body and
then there is the future. Adam, a projection:

2042 and rainbow flag after rainbow flag waving in
the stands and no one knows which is for whom.

America’s hosting and you’ve lit the opening torch.
There’s beautiful snow striking the beautiful light,

oh light, bright as your bleached smile, a crown.

 

image: Doug Paul Case


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