Two Poems by Austin LaGrone


Found in Willow Springs 69

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Tableau with Rockets Redglare


At home with Wild Turkey, I hear

someone yell Piss yellow gypsy

cab colored moon! and, looking

out the window, notice

that it is orange and full

and competing for the sky

where the Pussycat's marquee

reads Girls-Girls...

and then just failed light.

There are days meant for loss.

Others, for holding on.

Either way, I understand permanence

by placing things inside my mouth.

And, like the nickel on the needle

of the record player

or the Eldorado double-parked,

ticketed and towed, I feel

the usual rhythm of life

repeating. My ex-wife

sleeps with the television on,

says the flickering light

scares away the roaches.

We make love on Thursday

as though we are still married.

It is comforting and endless,

and afterwards we play 'Deluxe' Othello

and watch Down by Law with the volume

down. The Newton's Roach and Flea Powder

I sprinkle on the floor makes little difference;

week after week they return

to an understanding.




Linger for a moment and trust

your cigarette. Hasn't its ritual

kept you sacred, through cheap

wine and that tall brunette

down at the Dollar General?

--Forget what she says.

You won't live long enough to need

one of those terrible voice boxes.

Besides, isn't out of smokes

a kind of silence? When I tap

ash from the balcony on Royal

and Orleans I'm saying, I will

always be keen on young breasts.

You've probably said something similar

turning the cherry against the lip

of the curb, or in the bed

of a shell, or along the tongue

of your shoe. And you've said more

with less. I can see dark breath

rising as though you're looking

for answers. That slow exhale

portends the full scope of your live-to-ride.

I don't need need the tarot, or a bloody yolk,

or even Yeats to see your Hierophant

eating bad oysters with sticky fingers.

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