Two poems by Tyler Gobble

Tell Me You’ve Got Good News About My Head

The stroke, a few years, a decade ago even,
the doctor said, and my death could never
come fast enough because the tears inside
my children’s faces are wishing wells,

Hoping for me to sober up, but
this week’s religion lesson tells
speaking in tongues is how
some of us pray, noises blurred,

Like the doctor’s jittery hands
disappearing into the out-of-control
innards of a man who rode his bicycle
down the hill too fast. Oh how great that must be!

Child-me rode a bike before playing doctor,
but finally with my two cousins and my aunt,
learning in that dusty trailer:
some pain only lasts for a minute.

Today, I can’t tell you what all these parts
begin to mean or when it will end, but
white lab coats like fat-headed ghosts haunting
me point at charts of what is human,

and snazzy Jesus-loving suits shout at decibels
roaring like bottle rockets my drunk uncle
shot at the cousins on trikes, pulling the match
across his calloused left palm, the only thing it’s good for.

I can feel the flash of electricity, a dancing lightning bolt
between family reunion memories and records
of the Great Survival when my heart stopped beating
those 14 minutes that one July.

On the hospital screen, my head is a modern city,
tiny people running around, not yet figuring out
you can’t straighten your palm’s crooked lines
once the thing’s been set into motion.   


One Violence I.E. Idyllic
for Jeremy

I discovered last night the damn pretty things
have existed inside the vibration of your saw,
glob together like a dead bird, a winged fucker
spouting vomit of mutilated worms, somehow
beautiful, somehow with a glory that rivals Jesus.
I realized, stuck between these walls, like a colon,
the shit and shit-tube walls, life bites like soggy demons
and this cloud coming from inside you is a haven, I’m safe,
thanks. I wish you could talk instead of gargle the sticky
beauts glowing your guts. My hurricane is naked too,
what I call emotions, they took out a cool-lady girl
My body breathes the paint and I’m splattering the tiny things I stuffed
inside my pockets, onto these beer glasses, your hands, like one of those
paintings where Pollock flicks and drips and drops the colors, cigarette butts,
etc. Yep, that’s life sometimes. Everyone’s striving for happiness,
faking smiles, chuckling memory chunks of roadkill pets
and it’s-okay-we-are-all-perishing-but-together feelings.
Being with you, squiggly eyes, is a fleetin’ comfort,
I know I have to take a minute to enjoy. Phew!
I’ve been waiting this whole poem to say that,
to get my lips untangled and admit that Gods don’t dream,
though we are almost his children, the earth smoking fire
if you want it. In the morning, sure, you can hug and you try even,
but hey hey hey don’t forget at night you can do more than hum
and wet the world with this inner slush. Yes, we are alone and keep
bleeding, but the poets and babes are coming and I think they mean well.

More poetry at Used Furniture.


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