Thursday, June 4, 2015

PW Covington- Three Poems

Of Steering Wheels and Bulldogs

He lays
On the
Passenger side
Floor board
As the
Sun rises,
Staining F-150
Rear windshield
Just outside

Heading north and west,
Gary Snyder
Look up
And catch mine

I tease him, asking, out loud

“Where are we, Buddy?
Where are we, Boy?”

I know things
His canine mind
Can’t capture

From somewhere
So far off and far away,
That even words
Are vain,
Where life and love
Hold no form

Comes his mystical, sensible,
Hobo Zen,

Together is where we are.
Just drive,

Indirect Fire
When rockets or mortars, third-world artillery, fall while you sleep
It is called indirect fire
200, 300 meters away
Or, maybe, right next door
You are told to think nothing of it
In time, you, too, are joking
Trying not to sound like a
Fear-filled Fobbit
Never admit your humanity
Around those facing more present, better-aimed dangers
Farther downrange
Indirect fire makes you lucky, they'll say
But New Years and July 4
Are never the same
Indirect fire can be laughed away
Until you report to the airfield the next day
And load metal transfer cases 
Onto large, grey, planes
And when you learn the names of
Two American Service members killed last night
From the shipping documents, coded for Dover,
Before the news, before their families
It does not seem
At all

"Indirect Fire" was first published by Virogray Press in Carcinogenic Poetry.

The Last Time that the World Ended

The last time that the world ended, I was there
We rushed in like Angels
They let me be an angel, the last time that the world ended.

It was the worst storm,
The strongest twister,
The biggest fire,
The most noble war.
And we tried, we tried...
to pull innocence from the twisted rubble,
we brought people off of roofs.
there were army rations and Red Cross cots
and visits from Presidents and Governors

We searched house to house,
removed fallen trees from post-storm streets
spray painted X's on front doors as each home was cleared
No expense was spared, the last time that the world ended

New Orleans, Texas, New York City
Alabama, Mississippi, New Orleans again

Disaster becomes only a word after too long
And grief always looks the same from the sky

When every storm is the worst storm

How many times have I rebuilt my life?
How much destroyed or left behind,
by forces of nature, by acts of God, by mindlessness and happenstance?
Where were the legions of angels, then?

So, this time, I will not run into the disaster,
the stars do not call to me personally anymore, for they have been told to be wary of my weariness
I am no longer on the roster of super heroes, now that my own disasters have been shared.
I will not look into loss-filled eyes this time.
I will not know the stench of human decay in sun-drenched suburbs.
There will be no reassurances, no comforting, no glorious god-less faith in man...

How close is too close to stand,
The next time the world decides to end?

"The Last Time That the World Ended" was published by Our Lady of the Lake University in the 2014 edition of The Thing Itself.
"PW Covington has been a part of the Indie Lit scene in Texas since the 1990's. His work has been published by academic journals and underground 'zines. His third book of poetry is due out later this year by Slough Press.  Covington is a 100% service connected disabled veteran of peacekeeping duty in Somalia, and of the Persian Gulf War. He is also a convicted felon. PW lives in rural Lavaca County, Texas with his English bulldog, Chesty."

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