Three Poems by Adam Deutsch

by: Adam Deutsch

Adam Deutsch’s poetry revels in a lush, louche nonchalance that belies its  incisive emotional and spiritual depth. From flatulence to tow trucks, the nimble humor of these poems speak of the ever present danger that hides in plain sight: “It’s just that, nearby, there’s a cooler/ of sandwiches designed to kill us.” 


Barking Spiders

That was the night he was naked in the garage
looking for a place to take a piss, and your brother
yacked in the rhubarb beds out back
and that shit grew like weeds all damn season.
One cloud in that night looked like a baby duck.
Another like an opera lady belting one out
in the middle of a belly flop. She was coming
right for us, but we lived. We slept it off,
just after we touched our tongues
to the white ghost chili pepper seed
and tingled for a while longer.



A salmon cooking in stainless, oils,
the flavors are ascended to the ceiling
beams. It’s a holiday. He’s pulled himself
from the walls, crimping and shrinking
wires and putting a gentle torque
on all the pipes. He’s always been
a nuts & bolts kinda guy.

Ask him and he’ll tell you plain,
he’s holding it together, everything in order,
and she’s there too, who minds the stove
he throws everything on to then runs away
to study cross-threads, corroding aluminum
and oxidized brass fittings.

Everything works this way: he melts
as icicles into a slab. She loves him malleably.
He erodes eventually in her luster,
composition. He’ll buckle for her
every time, and that’s all right.

Surrender comes in the spirit of natural demolition,
how the hurricane razes the dead
cherry blossom at the property line
and lands it in an upstairs bathroom
across the street, but doesn’t mean to hurt anyone.

Artifacts are found by bare feet in a deep garden
when all this is over. When the process
of a union is beyond sense, way after fusion,
scraps and ore are bonded. Maybe eventually
sublimated as mingled fragrances.

He’s almost burnt the supper,
but she’s caught it with the spatula
and he could’ve just about cried at his luck.
The life that swam against the flow,
who was gutted with care, won’t burn. He’s heated
into something of wonder, a delicious departure
to a connate within.


Tow Truck’s Hooking the Neighbor’s Van

You could hear the end of the dark
in an exhausted wheel-lift’s croon.
It’s the coming rain we’ve waited on
since the soils dusted up from clod.

Everyone’s checking the report. Who
among us looks to the color of sky
to get ideas for what coming next?

There is a giant force holding on
to her breath between our bones.
I’ll bet, again, that you’ll taste sweet
tensions and anxious heat
in the first berry of the season.

It’s just that, nearby, there’s a cooler
of sandwiches designed to kills us.
Hide with me where succulents
and air plants welcome mist. My love

and I wish for a gentle variety of baby
goats, huddled under a shelter tree,
to towel off their faces, milk for cheese.


Adam Deutsch lives in San Diego, teaches college composition and writing, and has work recently or forthcoming in Poetry International, Thrush, Spinning Jenny, Ping Pong, and Typo. He is the publisher at Cooper Dillon Books, and has a chapbook from H_NGM_N Books called Carry On.


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