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November 30, 2016 Poetry

Three Poems

Karl Schroeder

Three Poems photo

split infinitives

in the honeymoon stage of our breakdown,
we went out to celebrate
depleting the fridge. they cooked
the dead thing to make it deader. I made you
hold a rose between your teeth
because I'm attracted to delicate things
like a tree tickling the power line

RIP, good morning

everything tastes like chicken
because taste is limited by language
most chickens drown in the rain
because they cannot temper their awe
measure the scope of a breakthrough
by how arbitrary everything seems
like a joke you’ve heard a hundred times

RIP, good morning

I inflated my ego for only you (baby), stoned
on the living room floor. what are we
to do with this gutted love?
our downward-pointing noses
and wicking brows suggest we
are a people meant to stand out in the rain
like the dog heaving over the Bakhtiari rug

RIP, good morning


I don’t know, I just

the withered
centipede’s final hours
in the dusty wine glass,

truth in the shape
of a nameless date
palm, soundless grocery 

store in every
state you’ve never
grasped, never really left
behind the anonymous basement’s 

broken water
heater. will you listen to me now
that I’m dowsed in sepia? I need you 

to know everything unlike
a broken tooth, drowning
in the tub to break the ice
with the neighbors. what 

I mean is just because it comes
to you in a dream, doesn’t make
it— um—

just below
my eyes, like a dog
in a car at a stop light. empower 

that silly body real good
tonight | in this
very room, there are bodies
of water without names,

a hundred empty picture
frames. wild dogs circling
missing periods
in our memories,

which amount to empty
circles, as all circles are
gasping for breath,

boring their therapists
to death. comparing two
immeasurable forces

on sale for more
or less


Karl goes downtown

I go downtown
to be someone
who goes downtown
to be downtown

I buy an air plant from a pop-up shop

when I tell my friend
she goes no way
she was just there
earlier today

I’m going to abandon everything 

after this poem
and leave forever
to its careless flight
as I walk home again

at night, the snow performs

a gesture on my phone
which highlights

image: Aaron Burch