Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Justin Hyde- Three Poems

in the abstract

the economy is bad

unemployment through the roof

my newspaper has been telling me this
for two years now

but i never actually saw
many of these unemployed
until recently
at the grocery store cafe:

middle aged white guys
who were making 35k a year

selling annuities

installing home security systems

or driving pepsi trucks

now sit in booths
across from me
filling out the
five page application
to work behind the
deli counter
for eight bucks an hour.

there's no shame
in their eyes

they've already
been turned down
by the
rental car company

the seasonal
city landscaping crew

even the
bagel shop
across the street.

the interview went well
if i get this
and stay on overnights
at wal-mart
we can probably
keep the house,
says the buzz-cut guy
with cauliflower ear
into his cell-phone
this morning.

he rolls up
the right leg
of his khakis.

i watch him
go out the door

a red bicycle
far too small
for him.

in bed

seventy-six pages
into a memoir
by hunter s thompson.

more interesting person
than writer,
i think to myself
clicking off the book-light
the page.

my eyes
adjust to the darkness

on the silhouette
of my three year old son
sleeping next to me.

he spends the night
every friday

this evening
we went to the river
behind wal-mart
looking for snakes

then we pretended
we were trolls
of the highway underpass

snarling at people
as they rode past
on their bicycles.

he's shirtless

the blanket
down over
his torso.

he has
my ex wife's nose

and my facial

he's yet to ask
why i live here
in a crappy
one bedroom apartment

and his mother
lives in our old house
with a boyfriend
named jake.

all in good time
i suppose.

not that i have
any good answers

for him


or anyone else.

i kiss his ribs

his arm

his cheek.

i prop my head
on my hand

staring at him
for a very
long time.

celina marie

you are
a week and a half old
sleeping peacefully
inside a small blue carrier
at the flying j truck stop
in des moines iowa. your mother
is a waitress here.
she's supposed to be
on bed rest
the next three weeks. but
she had to bring you here
on the city bus
to get a big garbage sack
full of empty cans
collected by the other waitresses
because your father
who washes dishes
at ryan's steakhouse
gambled his paycheck
at the craps table
again. i’ve met
your father before.
he’s a nervous guy
who always wants to be
somewhere else. sometimes
at night i help your mother
move the big tables
in the truck stop restaurant
so she can vacuum underneath them. chocolate
and cigarettes
are my luxuries in life
is something
she always says. good
luck to you.

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