M a t t h e w G r a h a m
For Jordan Smith
was always for sale --
wood, snowmobiles, shotguns --
the poverty of ignorance
those old mountains
savage in their slow decline.
was always snow, jumper cables,
old, cold cars filled with exhaust
nights were long dreams
by the cries
the Erie Lackawanna
through frozen crossings.
lighted deer hung gutted
the hand hued cross beams
collapsing barns near the forgotten history
stone walls and the foundations of farm houses.
spring, the mountain run off rushed
the washes and gullies,
clumps of rusted rhododendron
its way to the faraway sea
in my sleeping heart,
so ached to be.
thought I saw Ronald Beaver today
a bar off 47th street,
it was just another laid off ad man
over his bourbon and racing forms.
Beaver – how I remember him
he left for England.
all night pontifications, his beard
definition, his eyes wise and wild.
he warned us of the drinks taking drinks
he poured more drinks, and of sorrow.
walks to the Strand or Washington Square
talks of how this city
just one more dragon to slay.
think I’ll leave him now where he belongs,
a bench in Covent Garden, among the pigeons and mimes,
yet another young magician
his sleights of hand.
Matthew Graham’s third
book of poetry, A World Without End,
was published by River City Publishing. He teaches at the University of
is now publishing poetry and prose
inspired by these, uh, "tough economic times."
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