Raised on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas, CL Bledsoe is the author of thirty books, including his newest poetry collection, The Bottle Episode, and his latest novel The Saviors. Bledsoe co-writes the humor blog How to Even, with Michael Gushue: https://medium.com/@howtoeven Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.
Mother, Father, Son, Daughter
The devil’s biggest problems are lack of dopamine. Nose-blindness. Not existing. One expects time to pass, some progression to be revealed, not this dog-trying-to-stand-in-a- pickup thing we’ve got going on. First, there was the mother. Then, the father, trying to erase the memory of the light from her eyes, soothing fingertips on fevered brow. Finally, the son who forgot his keys and had to run back home for them. It probably all has to do with prisms because I was absent that day. There are people who spell out their pettiness onto signs and stand outside places to try to intimidate others. There are people who walk into schools with automatic weapons and open fire. There are people who sit in pews one day a week and think that’s enough to make them people. It wasn’t that long ago a person could be murdered for asking questions. Even still, questions are met more often with shame than considerations of where the answer might come from, and who. The son – it’s his age, remember – thinks crystals will save him or maybe just yelling at the wall until it feels punched. There’s a fourth age no one seems to have considered: the daughter.
The Enemy of My Enemy Is Probably Also My Enemy, Just Without a Goatee.
For example, no man can wear beige and remember the taste of the sun. Look, Jim, just because you went to private school doesn’t excuse you from a responsibility to understand physics. It doesn’t matter how good you look in lacrosse shorts when they come to reclaim the fields. Sweat soured on skin like a father’s gaze. A bell that never stops ringing. I want to laugh like we used to, talking shit about the pines. Maybe you’re right, Jim. Maybe there’s nothing but quiet cars. The flimsy logic of regret. There’s a certain way of forgetting that happens every night when you try to catalogue what remains. It has to do with never going into the kitchen, which is the best way of keeping the floor clean.
Everything ends badly, otherwise it wouldn’t end,
after a line by Christopher Fullerton
It’s hard to describe the weather when the sunset keeps salivating behind your back. A type of rodent that sheds its fur and learns to yodel has some interesting things to say about predetermination and your mother. The only difference between a sunset and sunrise is a handful of letters and several hours. Also, you can’t see after one and you don’t want to after the other. A certain amount of filler allowed in each heart. A certain amount of negotiation before each separation. There are certain species of flies that are born and die in a single day. I bet some of them begrudge it taking so long.