Poetry 2012 / Volume 43

An Argument for the Twentieth Century — Daniel Poppick

There are gods who define the word grass and other gods in the shape of grass itself. You say the word before climbing into the dining room through the window. You try to walk lightly, to diminish the sound of broken glass snapping on hardwood floor. You have a part to play tonight.

Your audience, sympathetic to the narrative but not to you, watches to see if you will trip the wire that feeds the music to the kitchen, where you all notice that someone must be cooking a dish too heavy with sage. They are not unreasonable, these people. Water buckets are nearly brimming at their feet; some of them argue that you deserve what’s coming, while others remain silent and affect a reverence for the screen.

And there you are. You try to count the eyes fixed on the portion of your face cut with artificial light as you bend to look through a crack in the door. A kind of country song leaks in. You brush both grass and glass from your boots. And your audience has been waiting all night for this. They heave water at the screen and sing along, drowning out the recorded lyrics, Bless my soul what’s wrong with me/I’m itchin’ like a man on a fuzzy tree.

One thought on “An Argument for the Twentieth Century — Daniel Poppick

  1. Pingback: Current Issue: Volume 43, Number 1 — Poetry Issue, Fall 2012 | Coe Review

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