Stunt Casting

*******With spring and Iraqi devastation in full form, without
*******identification of weaponry alleged to be clearly indicated by
*******satellite photography, we continue in our lives, ashamed
*******of the children’s deaths, the looks we see nightly
*******in widows’ eyes.


***We share ( ourselves ) the exercise, the answering,
and understate the miracle, together, being well,
as shimmerings blow by at posted limits,  and multiply,
looking ahead to summer, love, where able’s
prompt enough to start us wishing, unable to miss the point,
Poor France, Poor Washington, as muddier selves
share mealtimes, and white-capped ponds explain, unlabeled
container loads explain, and this beech laid out across
another country driveway, this many-layered field lore.
The driver beside me veers a little left of center
and resettles, swerves to barred berm then, leaving behind him
tire shards that leave me wary, start me out around, ahead
of the passions, the moments merging lanes will be exciting.
And here,where it was hours earlier, sharing the same
sloped ground and shadows with the barnwall, this white horse
interrupts, with more on its mind than mortgages
and banked on chemicals, machines and soil quaility, where
prosperous makes room and stuff I lack the names for
finds a shelter, since it’s almost summer, love, and trucks,
still held together by their stickers, sit axel-deep for it,
along this stretch where parts, show-cars, and ancient rides
turned conversations yesterday, and juju odds ran straight
through the fresh-ground speculations, as daylight tipped,
from hills and the low places, from the still-draining land,
where one barn ( burned, ) had squared the century, and
one dream-vehicle sat top down as the clouds hurried,
with drizzle and blizzard, ice to come, road-rage
to come, and automatic fire.


***Poor France.  Poor Washington.  Poor Sonoma.   Poor
Bordeaux.  Poor Place Pigalle.  Poor Robert Charlebois.
But Office, I think, should not insure against critique, stirring
the buzzards up, circling, surveying the model homes
and car parts, and bringing the cats around, drivers thrilled
by the daymoon, by the woods they prowl, the sundry
array cool mid-nights turn displays for them, leaving this humor
out, the twists of  which will shame him afterward, implying
all means justified, and the whole “shebang,” in eyes like hers,
where every shade asks in, and missing limbs explain
precision hits and lag time.  He offers himself a line for this
stunt-castng and the handlers, the “genuine article,”  if you
will, knowing these thin trees, over-reaching corners, will be
the first to go, revealing sea-views, and in two years,
three, the weaponry!   Poor France,  Poor Washington.  Poor
( shameful ) Colin Powell.  And the bridges where,
the fields where bridges and fields were, the pinwheels installed
around May gardens as deterrents, and this rig laid down,
cab crushed, the whole load scattered, from the ditch run to
first swales!  But hardly the promised cache!    Hardly
the morning to leave behind the half-ton and the trailer, to hike
the shoulder home, missing the point maybe, while
rains run rusty shoulder pines, the gages shot for months, and
innocence, missed less than an executive’s spring leisure,
so that the mind snaps to, when mirrored and wooded midnights
call for the pure slaughter, and the voice, maybe a half-step
off the note, prepares to forego the history, if base believers
ask for it, with kid-school reading skills, with their common
ineloquent codes and rules for argument, rooted in crises
readers like himself can’t quite pronounce, because there are
worse odds everywhere, prompting the mind to concentrate,
contributing concensus, until the restaurants thrive again, and
songs seem prompts for summertimes, or a thinking run
its course, beyond, it may be, new SUVs and cinema.  Poor
France.  Poor Washington.  And do not assume electorates,
trusts, effusions mis-recalled, must thrive among house terrors,
or techniques for breathing still, if only you catch the drift
and understand another’s culture, when this is over after all,
and sixty-five’s the norm again, a little less ( maybe ) than
shiftwork tolerates, gas being what that is, and the safety
lost, in dedicated  simulations, gone, as the heron
will be, or the next thought entered on, with the geese
from ponds full greening  bars them from.


Over 800 of Robert Lietz’s poems have appeared in more than one hundred journals in the U.S. and Canada, in Sweden and U.K, including Agni Review, Antioch Review, Carolina Quarterly, The Colorado Review, Epoch, The Georgia Review, Mid-American Review, The Missouri Review, The North American Review, The Ontario Review, Poetry, and Shenandoah.  Eight collections of poems have been published, including Running in Place (L’Epervier Press,). At Park and East Division ( L’Epervier Press,) The Lindbergh Half-century (L’Epervier Press,) The Inheritance (Sandhills Press,) and Storm Service (Basfal Books).  Basfal also published After Business in the West: New and Selected Poems.


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  1. Pingback: Issue Eight, July 2014 | Matter

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