poem index

The World as Seen Through a Glass of Ice Water

Dobby Gibson
There are a billion reasons to look down
into a casket, but just one way to lie in it dead,
which proves there isn't anything 
you can think of that isn't here for the living,
who are each alive for a short time
in a very different way. 
After she moves out, one tears up grass blades
to watch which way the wind blows.
Just over there, another buried his favorite dog
and now look at that tree! 
Would you like to model for me?
says the lousy painter 
to every woman who walks within earshot.
Feeling a little dead?
Maybe you spend a weekend 
faking a French accent,
maybe you buy an even more expensive stereo
and build a separate and self-sufficient world
inside the garage. 
Something happens something happens something happens.
Repetition repetition repetition. 
The saddest painting I ever saw 
was on the carpet in my friend's hallway
where he tripped one night
carrying a gallon of red.
This was just before the divorce.
Just after he told me he was trapped 
inside some idea of himself,
one he swore bore no relation
to what the rest of us had been seeing.
"Nice shirt" has always meant too many things.

From Skirmish by Dobby Gibson. Copyright © 2009 by Dobby Gibson. Used by permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved.

Dobby Gibson

by this poet

poem

All day for too long
everything I’ve thought to say
has been about umbrellas,
how I can’t remember how
I came to possess whatever weird one
I find in my hand, like now,
how they hang there on brass hooks
in the closet like failed actors,
each one tiny or too huge,
like

poem
If you have seen the snow
somewhere slowly fall
on a bicycle,
then you understand
all beauty will be lost
and that even loss
can be beautiful.
And if you have looked
at a winter garden
and seen not a winter garden
but a meditation on shape,
then you understand why
this season is not
known for its words,
the cold