Larry Eby is the author of two books of poetry, Flight of August (Trio House Press), which won the 2013 Louise Bogan Award, and Machinist in the Snow (ELJ Publications). His photos have appeared in Blue Mesa Review, The Sand Canyon Review, The Great American Lit Mag, and others. Poems and photos can be found by following him on Instagram: @larryeby or Twitter: @vaneebs.
I drive by, shout
across the vacant lot, the hound flees
a calico carcass, the window rattles
within the door—do you see
what I've done? I stash the moon in the city's pockets,
the stars beneath its streets. I swap the firmament
with a flashlight-lit bed sheet,
in the shape of rain. (We)
city-dwellers speak an analog language,
We all become diablo at once,
chanting 'round a trash fire:
We beat the ground with our palms.
I Don't Suppose You Could Help
Speak of cinema, speak of salt, the rodeo forfeits meaning:
the audience—the ones in the rabble of a collapsed bleacher
have lost all but a voicebox. Do you hear it? The static onomatopoeia!
Don't ask me how to feel. I'm too busy contemplating the comma,
Against a green-screen, I've given up playing the part of janitor.
Memory grows wings to spite me, and out in the front yard,
the neighbor's dog is pissing on my mailbox
Listen, the fact of the matter is—
Host Party; Burn Flag
Face melting, woman at the market,
picking at her teeth with a 10 dollar bill,
I bought a rake to wrestle with earth again—
lettuce browns in the crisper,
laminate wood floor
and earth orbit each other
sometimes. Depending on the other dinner guests,
I've never felt so alone,
a truck has a flat tire in the alleyway.
Mother tugs my wrist
the spotlights swirl round,
I follow, staggering over rocks
the way I was taught
to evade, and now,
we push back the brush
look across the river, a flash light sentry patrolling the banks,
and then: he's gone.
We ford the waters,
it's neck high and I can taste it,
I want sunlight!
but ringing out across the rapids:
the howls of dogs, birdshot,
(I pray in the air)
I can't tell it's my own.
Then, she, the goddess
guiding me through the waters,
dives and I follow,
and we swim
until we both stop moving, our gaze
upwards at the flashlight moon orbiting
the earth in its liquid light
blending back and
forth like a serpent.