Three River People

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Word collisions like the
trains slamming into
closets at parties of
sporadic canine afflictions with
street signs slanted askew like the eyes
and ears so our faces are like little
elves

What was that? Did you just ask me
how I’m doing?

Well, to tell you the honest to god
truth, my unfortunate friend,
nothing is right here in my life, because I’ve become
a planet of
apathy…

I don’t know
why, because I have so many friends at my
side.

Maybe its just because none of them look like
me.

I
Am
Truly
Isolated.

What?

Oh yeah. I pretty much consider myself a
straight-edge.

I mean, I’ve never done any drugs,
but maybe in the future,
because it seems like something to experience before I
die.

At least from what I’ve
heard, and my friend says that she’s
taking me to California where she can
grow her weed in relative
security.

I wouldn’t mind that. I would be greeted with
faces and eyes that were just like
mine, and the derogatory
“FOB” wouldn’t sting so much
anymore.

Anna Lowe seems like she could be my
straight-edge buddy,
wait haha never mind that.

Shuddup Jazmine, everybody is an artist in
America, only now,
it seems like art doesn’t mean as much as it
used to.

Poets paint their floors with words, and hop
from one to another just like
armadas and
flotillas of
cucumber drift wood and
stumbling through the fountains of
useless Internets tying me and my
closest person.

Who would that be?

I’ve written a good number of
poems, for someone of my
age.

I’ve written them for a lot of
people.

For my mom,
who I hold very close to my heart,
even still today.

for Ms. Anna Lowe,
who will be the bishop standing next to my
knight forever, and will always love her
as intensely as a friend could ever love.

The poems I’ve written for Thandiwe I’ve
always kept
secret.
She will never see them and to be
honest, she might be dead within a
year, maybe more. She is always spitting up
inside jokes behind closed
curtains of the Kelly/Strayhorn down in
East Liberty, in our very own city,
where we hide in crowds of
congregating black folks on Penn.
but I still stick out with my
Yellowface.
We remember that bulimic
Mimi that we were dodging but also
chasing through the mazes of backstage,
and Clerks II in the champagne minivan,
and jumping off of catwalks in
Squirrel-Hill.

When I write for Chloe Grace,
my heart comes out of my
mouth and onto the page, because you can’t
sugar-coat
reality, and everything is bittersweet,
and what I feel for this girl is as sweet as
anything in this
world of ours. I used to harbor such
disdain for the likes of
E. E. Cummings, for all of the “I love
You”s,
but I feel like I must do the same.
she is my key,
and not the key for just a few doors, the key to
everything, even though we look down on
the universe with perverse eyes,
because when we simplify it into nothing
we hate.
In truth,
Chloe Grace
is the world to me
and I
am not
ashamed of that.

I’m sorry I didn’t catch that.
Could you repeat that?
Is there anything good?
Sure there is, I think, at least…

If anything is good in this world,
it’s love.

Remember how religion felt to us?
Sitting in that little
youth group on Wednesdays,
how it was scary but lovely at the same
time,
and how even Colin,
who was as gay as the world has seen,
turned glossy eyed,

and Adam,
who was as spastic as a
squirrel,
stopped me and told me
“I agree with you.”

This is love.
this is God,
whether there are such things
or not.

We are
three river people,
who pick out used condoms with our
paddles,
straight from the Allegheny, and toss them
back,
like wounded fish, so maybe they’ll end up like
Lewis and
Clark, and discover
Ginsberg just as I did, but won’t be dragged down
by Nixy Mamma (I love you too, don’t forget),
and maybe this is the prime of us,
maybe not.
let’s hope not,
and look towards the sky (as cliché as that might
sound), and be fresh, but sour,
just like Port Elizabeth, just like

everything.

Thank you,
Pittsburgh, for all you have
given me, and

thank you,
Barbara Kline (my dear
mother),
for allowing my long, and unwanted
preamble, just like how I used to think I was
Amish, just to convince church girl
Sema, that I wasn’t as bad and careless as I
seemed,

and thank you,
whoever you are,
for watching me grow,
and watching me squirm through the
sonogram, and passing in and out of
my life.

Thank you.





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

DemonXxXchild903 said...
Jun. 22, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Pittsburgh!

Amazing poem!!

 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback