Two Poems by Jared Joseph



Beheading Video Sets Off Debate

Forgive him soon because he has soon
remorsefulness.  Or don’t.  Under the spring earth
there are nails.  They hold together the gum
drops in the bear’s chest.  The stuffed bear whose
bladder is full.  The bougainvilleas are bushes
and so it has always been.  The ashes on my hand
are from the cigarette end and I cannot remove them.
So it has long often been.  The woman in the photo booth is
kissing Hildi.  It is a theater in
the hide there.  Some of our most complex emotions are there
behind those curtains in the Blue Moose photobooth.
They cost three dollars.  This is not approximate
but, exact.  I would very much like to ride to Mount
Vernon.  I don’t mind getting that look from the
blonde who walks by my porch.  My mom
misses me.  I miss her in the way a blind man
misses his stick sometimes swiping for it in the morning.
I miss my arm muscles when my arm falls
asleep and I have woken up.  I put my arm
around Sara, I put my arm around Fati, I
put my arm around Sophie, I put my arm
around Fati, Fati asks why just one arm,
I put my answer round Fati, I put my arms
around Fati and Sarai, I put my arms on
the small of Sara’s back, Alice says I was
civil to her in the night her friend’s father who was
her friend died, Alice
dislikes me, I put my arms around Jenny,
I put my arms around Fati, I put my arms
around Jenny, I brush my fingers on Hildi’s
fingers, I go home with Hildi.  I am invited
to go home with Hildi, obviously, I actually don’t.
I put my arm through Sara’s arm.  I take
the bicep out.  I leave the tricep, I want to leave her
with something.  Not with Emil, of whom I’m very
jealous.  Emil lives in Japan.  I walk Sara home.
I take the sting out of nothing.  I don’t undo
my fingers from Hildi’s fingers.  I put my arm
around Sara.  I put my arm around Sara.
I put my arms around Sara.  I cry and
Sara cries more.  I wince, frustrate, Sara’s
tears just fall, stain her face in clean streams,
statements.  I lie.  I put my arms around Sara.  I put on
Parks & Rec alone at home.  In the morning Hildi finds
the remains of our Cuban Des Moines leftovers.
I put my fingers in my eyes.  I leave on the eyeliner.
I read Bartleby.  I go to work in five.
I put my arms under the eyes.  Nelson Plumbing &
Heating Sons drives down Governor.
I don’t still have on my face
the makeup.

Over How, or Whether, to Show it

If you could look inside of yourself : lighthouses.
You were eating cookies with Emil, drinking morning coffee
with Emil, the sky was wet and not working
with dark thunderclouds, with Emil, you were pouncing on
Emil, leaping up on Emil, leaping off, keeping up
with Emil, overslung, leaping down on
Emil, Emil was still munching.  Why.  Chocolate coffee cookies from
the corner store called John’s, the bakery is titled
Yoder’s bakery, the cookies come in ziplocked bags, they are not hurt
hard to open, but air gets inside the bags, you try to clean them
and it is so easy to close them, but they’re not just cookies anymore,
it’s the thunder air, and it’s conqueror worm with Emil.  Emil, you say
has black desert stones in his eyes, I am a bad pupil,
I write letters to professors, I make fun of their overestimations
of their penises, stares, compare them to staffs, staffs of light,
I house an enemy of course, it is my name, Lucinda,
she chaffs: I drink Sutliff beer in Lisbon at the Sutliff factory, where
the brown cider is, I bring neolasses cookie, one very large,
I dip it in the beer or I dip it in the cider, but not
with Emil.  He doesn’t like molasses.  That time Lucinda, in the Lucindocene Epoch,
we sat at red tables together, outside Bradbury’s, it was a day
like your day now with Emil, where whatever time it was
it was unconvincing, morning felt like 4:00, afternoon
felt like 9 AM, though night feels like night.  It was day,
you sat at table, Lucinda, with me, who is Lauren, it was
the last day I ever saw you you kissed my neck on
Delancey.  My father, stoned, kissed my neck last night his birthday.  His name
is Peter, but it was Abrahamic, he kissed my family name
into my neck.  Direct into the black mole on my neck.  I miss you Lucinda, and if you’re
down, and this would be best, best to sit down and take it in
this news, then I miss Emily, too.  Emil, too, then I love Emil, too.  It is
easier to live with him than you.  It does not feel
like distraction, like your Japanese blonde hair kissing my
smooth neck, I am a smooth man.  My brother Esau was
a hair rudder.  His hunting dog was pointing toward black rocks.  Black surf.
A ship pointing toward the red set eyes of rabbit.  Of the rabbits.  They were dead
and in the rabbits’ still pink eyes I swear I saw white sheafs of paper/
My father will die, into my neck.  My aorta is an opera,
Pucini, my shoulders’ ripped ariae, Mick, I am so sorry, I know you
are old, muslin material, shimmery and smut and ripped by
smart exercise, and force of will, and by dint of force of will, and what will this do, professor, but some to show that
like some forceps I am younger than you, you will die, but you will not kiss my neck brown because of
head grammar theory.  Decoupling, rhizomatic roots, a red fire
hydrant.  Symbolism.  If you could looke inside of yourself
lighthouses.  If I could look inside of myself : Number One
Cab.  If Lucinda looke inside herself : with Emil : 3:48 AM.
Life for Addie was, full of bad hair.  Frozen water.  Expression of
sorrow : southeast.  Staff of life.  He introduced Bartholomew
to Christ.  Tense woody plant.  Distribute it, apportion it.  Forgive him soon because
destroyed into pieces soon, Mick.  Forgive him soon
because lighthouses, Mick.  Forgive him soon be
cause remorsefulness, Mick.

Jared Joseph is here.