Jared Pearce wrote Down Their Spears (Cyberwit, 2020 forthcoming) and The Annotated Murder of One (Aubade, 2018). His poems have recently been or will soon be shared in Otis Nebula, Willawaw, Lucky Jefferson, Aloe, and Hip Pocket. He lives and works in Iowa, United States. Further: https://jaredpearcepoetry.weebly.com.
The curtain rods are not centered. Over
the years they’ve nudged until she says,
We need a repair, a centering.
The brackets were measured and bolted,
but the swish of the fabric, the accumulated crush
of the webs nested out of reach,
those tiny hushes have moved the metal
so, It looks dumpy, she says, and cheap.
It’s likely weaker, too, when
the cuff extends so far—doubling-up
they would reinforce each other, hold
against another decade.
I haul out the ladder, grip the tender
insert still and knock the outer slip
until it looks even to me:
she starts like a wounded dog, jumps
back some steps, watches to see
which way to run, bark,
or bite. I take the brake. I’ve got my palms
plain to see. It may be I tapped
a little too far for perfection.
Relying on dead trees,
snapped by chance,
to pin a direction
on us, and then,
bullying the dark
to show we’re brave,
we’ll break it all
to keep it in place,
the slippery earth.
We want to know
and we want to stop,
something to shatter
and something sure—
that’s what we want.
The night when I can’t sleep, lying
in bed I ballerina leap, thighs bent to
Hungry Rainbow, then my foot slices low
Ready Knife at the mattress crease, blurred
up to The Pyramid when I kink my knee and,
to cool my arms, I round them, The Giant
Halo of South America: I want it to be
my whole being that pounds and bangs
into horizontal meaning, not disturbing
my woman asleep who loves the church
girl who plucks and dinks angelically.
The ceiling applauds and believes squirming
demons briefly bring a truth to being,
dark beauty, unloved and unseen.
My son joined a church.
They took him, young
as he is, dunked
him so the water stuck
in his right ear,
promised to promise
God he’d slick
down his hair, tuck
his shirt, shine
shoes. And my boy
was happy, pecking
and expectations, going
with the flow, stepping
water to purify his sweet
tongue and weight
his integrity like his
trousers and shirt full
of the font. And
he gasps, wipes
his eyes, then climbs
on the bank,
a little shiver, a little
surging him like the tide.
And as I help him
dry, I wish the stream
he steps would wave onto me.
I realized I’ll probably die
in this very house, used up
by the college down
the street, lost to friends
and family in America’s
this, the trees took meaning,
the flowers boiling up
to the walk, watching the snake
sun, the vulture and hawk
in vent—I can live with these,
as I lose my sight, my hearing,
the final things to see and hear—
certainly there are worse.
From the Editor:
We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.
Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?
The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.
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