Brad Rose: Two Poems

Poetry: Brad Rose

In Media Res

Everything on this planet fails   fails in the middle   even death   your life is death’s failure   but it’s not too late   you can rescue death   you can go to death’s school, learn death’s lessons   don’t worry   study   look, already you are between floors, a mezzanine   you’re almost nothing   inside you, there is a kind of beauty   it’s not that kind of beauty   stand still   listen to the snow   listen closer   people read your thoughts   you’re only a rumor   a thousand days of snow   music about music   everyone wants to like you, but they don’t   don’t worry,   you will become “A” and “not A”   most planets remain unnamed   hurry, you must start forgetting   nature adores a vacuum   that outfit, by the way, is perfect on you   your body is a story—sentences   what comes next? when accidents happen, are they invisible or see-through? it’s not something you should worry about   trust me, your secrets are safe with me there’s nothing to worry about you are a story word-for-word right up until the end

Abandoned House

I want to get out of the car. And why shouldn’t I? It’s parked, isn’t it? Outside a house. An abandoned house. I like abandoned houses. I like to look at them. This one sends me a silent message. It’s tired. Tired of being in this world. Fixed to the earth, it’s tired of this house-world. This one wants to get plastic surgery, become a theme park, move to Florida. Hey, that reminds me. Maybe I’ll look you up. Yeah, I’m going to look you up. Are you still in the world? Do you have a house? I saw King Tut’s sarcophagus, once. In a museum. Gold, calm, still. Face of a girl. Nothing inside. Like a dream of deep space. Did you know that sleep is the third leading cause of death? Even if you don’t like to think about it—even when you’re driving through a tunnel—sleep is death. King Tut looked quiet as a river. Asleep, calm, dreaming, with his eyes wide open. Something seemed to float there, just above his quiet stare. I’ll bet if he uncrossed his arms, he could have reached out, touched it. But the weight of that gold weighed heavy on Tut. He lay there, steady, motionless. He wasn’t going anywhere. I wonder if he was tired? Tired of staring. Tired of dreaming. When I get out of this car, I’m going to go inside that house. I’m going to look around. Maybe, see what emptiness looks like. From the inside. Maybe, look out the house’s windows. Just look out the windows, think about all those rooms with no one in them. No one dreaming. I’ll bet it’s quiet in there. Quiet and empty. Like a dream. Like a god.

Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Boston. He is a sociologist, and author of a collection of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015). Two new books of poems, Momentary Turbulence and WordInEdgeWise are forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press.


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