Thought I'd post up my poem from the Austin International Poetry Festival anthology. It's a great book...edited by Ken Fontenot and featuring great poets like Ilya Kaminsky, Robert Wynne, Logan Phillips, Agnes Meadows, Ed Madden and many more. Still buzzing off meeting all the great people...and, amazingly, writing a couple of new poems inspired by the trip west.


What I'm Wearing

Stranger’s voice, over-aspirated, gurgling with desire
wafts through the air, shimmers in humidity, catches in my ear,
makes me second guess the t-shirt, jeans and sandals.

What are you wearing?

Restlessness like a bad suit, if you want to know,
pockets filled with old boarding passes, luggage tags on my toes.
Memory and need bouncing like a cheap rubber ball,
floor to ceiling, wall to wall, that dull thud,
in some tireless kid’s hand -- harder, higher, faster.

What are you wearing?

Fear of the unknown like new Ray-Bans, super-stylin’,
this tape will self-destruct in five second dreams
running on a loop in my complacent, desk jockey mind.
I can say yes in twenty languages and speak none of them.
I’ve got a German friend who scolds me for never visiting Berlin,
ja, I say, ja, ja, ja, ja until I sound like a flooded engine.

What are you wearing?

I’m casting off responsibilities and people like a warm coat,
so this must mean something, this discarding.
I’ve got a fire sale cooking in my head, sticking my fingers
in and out of the flame until they blister, until the feeling comes back.
Who else, what else, must go until I’m naked,
so when you ask the question again I’ll be unburdened, invisible,
dematerializing into dust that catches the first strong wind
blowing east out over the water to elsewhere.

Comments

jenni said…
Very enjoyable poem. Congrats!
Anonymous said…
Yep, good poem. Congrats. Can't wait to see Slow to Burn.

GAV
Collin said…
Thanks guys. :)

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