Shirts or Skins, a 2014 poetry chapbook by Jim Redmond

Year of the Rat

Union Station: immaculate trap
of coming and going and mostly already gone,

where you lean against the marble slab
of someone else’s mastery.
The stationary weight of a huge Columbus:

a statue that has never seen beyond this high faith,
this new land. Here he is shoreless.

A salt pillar struck with the sure same visage.
The drake gaze of discovery, the big fisted I claim
and if the city it faces left hungry enough,
because of this, then maybe a monument

licked clean to the bone, made only to read:
DIED MDIV” as a point of departure

outside the thousand crude lines that cut across
this apiary, out and out into the nation’s honeyed et al …

of course there is someone in this town
more desperate than you,
whose hand-me-downs you won’t be wearing.

Of course the horse flesh of factory work
is the same in D.C. as in Detroit.

Of course the whistle of an empty coffee pot
left too long on the stove is not a whistle at all;

will not wake you up for whatever train back.


<<Previous                  Next>>


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments (