Rambo Goes to Idaho to Study Poetry
by Scott Abels

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I know
where the Indians go.
It’s how I learned to play piano

thoughtlessly,
on an island
fixed on a single greased pig

slipping through the talons
of a bald degreasing eagle
in the middle of the East China Sea.

That’s where the American phrase
spreads like wild fiber
gets totally effed in translation.

*

And hard to know
that whatever you say
your exit interviews
will be anthologized.

*

            Hang that on your head Tom Dooley.
            Poor boy you’re going to die.

 

 

 

I’ve been thinking about                                                                                                 
a student I hate all day

broken down to baby powder.
And if the new president

approves tickling for information, then
she will teach me

poetry.   This is a difficult moment. 
A Hollywood moment

straight as arrows. In the myth of prom
I have a decorative sword.

I wear boots with my suit for effect.
I am suddenly unresponsive to certain songs.

The graffiti says BEEF JERKY!
The punch a medical bitter.

Three times the cucumber
the recipe originally called for.

In the myth of prom
poetry means us.

I am a tile bathroom ensemble
and I am a rock wall.

Tight, knowing I have a date tonight
Lady lock your shield with mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Diary, I spent December writing letters to Mr. Retrospect.                                     

One hundred pages of thought
referencing something that doesn’t exist.

Imagine a ghost coming into your life
and showing you your future.

What a humbug I’ve been,
playing make pretend good heaven.

It’s the same force
which tells us why an apple doesn’t go to heaven.

A part of my world begins
with improbable explanations.

I’m a big fan
of the fall of man.

I bought the T-shirt.