These two poems by Jason Abbate invoke our restless relationship to the past, exploring whether or not it’s possible to clearly see where we are or where we’ve been…
by: Jason Abbate
Fog 101 Little cyclops, How many shoulders do you owe to the fog? Not to morning fog burning the nerves off of New Jersey mountain tops but To the dark thick romance of reality, To crust that slurps up doubts and bodyguards, To fog that cooks your feet into Bayonets, cracking the distance into Tiny turbines of regret? Like an immigrant smearing his socks Across a bus station floor, your thinking cap Can’t argue with the third law of paradise. Your cherry beast solitaire Buckles in the balcony, Windpipe wet with dragon breath, Tongue drunk with spies. Infrared postcard from a land Where heat hasn’t rippled The surface in years.
Were We in Graceland? "This is what it's come to," he complained as he smoked an extra menthol in the station wagon, "a pilgrimage to remember owning what was never ours." It was the house all right. The porch bent like a finger, beckoning the details they left behind. As they drove back into the mush, she reminded herself that he wasn’t the first of her sailors to succumb to the quake of aging innocence. The darkness tasted like a jungle of Sundays. They came to bargain for their incisions. They came to prove that life is painfully brief and mercifully short. If the lord cajoles his creations with silence and dynamite, he does it because how and how much matter, because to have is to crawl, and grace means carving your cellmate's nickname into time's bloated hide.
Jason Abbate lives and writes in New York City. His work has been included in publications such as Red Rock Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Black Heart Magazine, Subprimal and pif Magazine. He is the author of Welcome to Xooxville.