Monday Mar 27

GibsonRJ RJ Gibson is a student in Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers.  His work has appeared or will appear in:  OCHO, Knockout, Bloom, qarrtsiluni, Lambda, and Court Green.  His chapbook Scavenge (Seven Kitchens Press) was a co-winner of the 2009 Robin Becker Chapbook Competition.  He lives and works in West Virginia.

A Sort of Ars
A numerologist told me my life path was 4.   Therefore, I crave
Stability, balance, feeling secure,        comfort.
Which explains my attraction to insurance adjustors, actuaries, paralegals.
Men whose days are regular, same-same.                   Button-down shirts, routines.
The other night, I couldn’t sleep—
I was thinking about the future, but I wasn’t
In it.   There were high rooms,
Great single-paned windows, plaster walls                stark as bone.
Honey-pine floors without a carpet.   Terra Cotta pots on sills.
Boxes.             Lots and lots of boxes brightened by sunlight.          Everything
Tucked, organized.     Ready for when I’d arrive.

Room 2640, the Denver Hyatt-Regency, Jeff
It’s his hometown, but he wants

To see the view from my room.

I want to see him,

I want to see

What happens with him,

So I let him give me the tour.

Those are the Hog-backs,

And that,

Just down there, is Cherry

His family has been here

Since before Colorado was a state.

Back there, in the distance,

That’s Mount Evans.

And it’s too bad,

We say simultaneously,

That there’s haze

In the way of the mountain.

Sometime we move from looking

Out to looking at

One another. And everything

Goes from there:  to a chair,

To a bed.  Until we go back and

He’s finally facing the window,

Fists braced

Against the glass.

My left hand in his hair,

My right hand at his hip.

My teeth

Across his carotid,

Then just at his ear.

Tell me the names,

Jeff.  Tell me the names

Of all these mountains.

And he does, like the good guy

I believe he is.

Hours later, after

Dark, after

The city is alight, after he’s gone

To some party,

The prints of his fists

On the window glass

Hang over the city, two

Ancillary imperfect moons.

Dear Dad

I’ve been in the news a lot lately, maybe you saw.
Not so much in the news as on.
I was in the background
somewhere between stories on the election and the subprime fiasco.
It’s not hard to get on TV here—so many remote site set-ups,
two-man operations, reporter and cameraman, on 6th Ave,
(one of them I think was Portuguese!) and I was walking past.
I pretended I was what I was, a tourist,
looking up at the tickers, the lights.
I even took pictures with my camera to look more authentic.
I made sure to turn and walk into frame,
just behind the correspondent’s right shoulder.
I ignored their camera so it wouldn’t seem I was only there to be seen
during the nightly news. It was just turning to night
and there were these fairy lights in some trees
and I was wearing my best wool coat and scarf.
I thought I looked smart without trying too hard.
I wish there’d been more coverage
when I exited Grand Central Station and lit a cigarette
(these days that’s dramatic.)
But there was only a van and cameraman for NY 1
and he was soggy from the rain and cold.
I lingered at  Bryant Park outside the tents
but it wasn’t Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,
so there was nothing but people who looked like they’d be happier if it was June
and they were in the Hamptons.
Nothing but distracted hurry,
belted coats, glossy umbrellas.
So  I kept walking up and down 6th Ave,
three times a day, doing a good job of being what I was,
of being small in this city and glad of it.