Two Poems

by Casey Bush

LEVELING ROADBED WITH DANCERS

fork over the dough
this is a mugging of the mind

at gunpoint
I take a room full of hostages
I turn on the radio to a song
that nobody else likes
I am forced to change the station

accumulation of body heat
becomes oppressive
we all have to use the toilet
at once

questing for an immoral language
uncontainable in dictionaries

not simply exploring the unconscious
but colonization of the tropics
lust of the carnivore
desire of one flesh for another
love reared its ugly head
invented a new disease
monogamy proved harder than mahogany

extradition forces me to seek refuge
within the realms of television
thoroughly convinced
that it is the source
of my own image
while what I see
in the bathroom mirror
is broadcast
from some distant city.

 

BENT LIGHT GAZING BACKWARDS

In a pond with clear water you’re less likely to catch fish
there’s way too much of the right here and just now
impractical schemes may well lead to a lucrative idea
am I not fit for this world or is this world not fit for me?

A solitary song scatters shadows cast by the moon
I feel like an unwelcome guest at twilight’s banquet
lurching drunkard unable to fit a key into its lock
can a solitary candle shed light upon the ocean’s surf?

Once again I’ve fallen asleep before the novel’s final chapter
laying down with mongrels, waking up with vermin
I’m helplessly possessed by the presence of my own absence
how can I stop my sweat from staining these ghostly sheets?

My mother’s tongue is already a second language
wandering lonely as a crowd, indecipherable, acquiescent
why bother to tear up moss and ferns from the forest floor
when I can always rip fistfuls of hair from my own scalp?


Casey Bush is from Portland, Oregon.  His book “Student of the Hippocampus” was published in 2018 by Last Word Press (Olympia, WA).   Novelist/screenwriter Jon Raymond has written about that collection “These are poems that arise bearded and barefoot from the raw American earth.  They are by turns sacred, profane, political, gnomic and free.”  Casey’s work has appeared most recently in Pacific Poetry, Caliban, North Coast Squid, Unlikely Stories, Inflectionist Review, Poeming Pigeon, and Otoliths.    

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