Thank You For the Cigarette, John Newlove

By the spear grass planter, Country Mouse
mouths his almond biscotti uncomfortably,
teethes. Elbow patches noticeably fresh, ta ta
he refines himself out the coffee shop door.
Finds himself in the archway where John waits
looking for a light. Country Mouse, he says:

Cigarettes, ravens, highway. As the crow flies
drive yourself to the spinning mountain
where the setting sun gets stuck, coagulates
its blood clot. There plant a strike anywhere
matchstick and wait.

Drown your smug cousin in the rain barrel,
(words, just words) no one can do it for you.
Blood’s thicker than water, but it’s nothing
kerosene can’t cut. Trust in your scuffed brown Dockers.
Drive like arson through any tinder you find.

The glowing cherry in John’s gesturing hand
describes an ellipse against the coffee shop’s dun fa├žade,
orange like the cat’s eye caught in Country Mouse’s
highbeams as he wends, corkscrewing
up the mountain pass.


see back of issue for authorship of this poem in The Anonymous Issue

Published in Arc 61: Winter 2009

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