Two Poems by Lawrence Bridges

August 15, 2023

Between Mid-Centuries

It’s all I have, the blues. Inside these lace curtains
in the slow relativity of grandfather time,
or is it time fast? I purge slim limbs of troubled blood
out-pacing sons. Piles of poet’s meat everywhere,
sympathy for all and none. I feel the weight
of their wires, tangled into headdresses
and restraints. So are mine. But they are mine.

I've switched the heat on in the house and admire
the gentle tick-free room because the electrons
here on the displays now follow me with advice.
Sorry, but I wasn’t prepared for these fattening comforts
in my current turmoil. I haven’t digested the Mid-century
and here we all are, already in another era of slow progress.

How far is Mid-century? I mean the next one.
I can almost reach it, but time will just flip over
all of our assumptions, repeatedly. Worth the wait?
I grip wood from a quantum of memory and lie flat.
I’m quiet as I breathe from today and bleed
from the past, quiet as the quiet future ahead.
Music plays but annoys. I learned something today
from someone I underestimated. I lie here cautiously.
Like no one else has ever said it. I’m wax.

Hollywood at Night

Screen on. Darting to beer coaster to avoid
removal from nature. Take the bus. Meet people.
Talk about rain or Kneehole and Cressida (a craft
ale) or knowing rightful ways through neighborhoods
without kissing rearview mirrors. I can talk through
headache and ice cream with olive oil. All a treat
with no taste or smell. Page down. Page up.
Talk about displacement. Try headphones or naps
or poverty or restlessness. Nothing comes
of organizing as the great grey lever descends.
Two models on a date. So fresh. Unanswered
by the early nightfall. Victims of excess traffic.
I stay put, and, like aluminum crumpling,
in nature, never park, shift to the roadway
way after midnight when it’s quiet. Mile off
headlights. Wet pavement. Alone.

About Lawrence Bridges

Lawrence Bridges’s poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Tampa Review. He has published three volumes of poetry: Horses on Drums (Red Hen Press, 2006), Flip Days (Red Hen Press, 2009), and Brownwood (Tupelo Press, 2016).

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