[I’m not with my]

I’m not with my blue toes or my doggies
nor am I under any arched roof rotting blossoms
in my drain, sunlight pouncing upon me,
nor am I fixed like a tree, nor am I unfixed
like a wind. I ate an apple, that’s fine
and after Anthony left I got a whiskey.
I stared a bit like a shadow at a book,
a fold in my shirt showed a monk’s bowing head
in a column of dusty light, but I just basically
used it to cover up my arm which was prickling
now because of some awful thing within me.
Big nasty sun making me feel old and then
this lovely gold bird flew up to my lunch.
An actual family of little white turnips
rolling over in the boiling pot like some
clouds is how I act. A great blue sky for a bed
and that beauty make me happy again.


Copyright © 2013 by Joshua Beckman. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on August 23, 2013. Browse the Poem-a-Day archive.

About this Poem

“This poem appeared at a time when I was writing fragmented short poems with short lines like ‘moon / lights / out / windows / and seas’ or ‘light sand / which blows up / with air,’ and it felt, in comparison, almost like a long narrative exposition on a moment of emotion. As far as I can remember, I started writing it in my apartment in Seattle and finished writing it in the park about a mile away. Like most of my poems, I prefer this to be read aloud.”
Joshua Beckman