Sunday, November 17, 2013

April Salzano

Four Poems

The Road to Back Road
is a bumpy bitch, a stretch
of dirt, unmarked. Speed is determined
by ability to maneuver. A place to pull
over and finish the argument
that was keeping your hands busy
at 10 and 2. No one will see
you get out, pace the car, hurl
the ring from your finger into rows
of waiting corn, stalks that grab and keep.
You burn out and leave
your passenger, gawking behind.
He knows you will be back.
No one can be that cold.

Incoming Freshmen
We rely heavily
on autocorrect and spell check.
We don’t write, we blog.
We don’t discuss, we tweet.
We don’t research, we google it. We consider
wikipedia a credible source. The dog doesn’t
eat our homework, our hard drives crash,
and our printers are always out of ink. We would
rather text than call and we don’t care
what time it is; manners are as irrelevant as
punctuation. We will attempt to
address you by your first name, and when you
correct us, we will roll our eyes and say, whatever.
We won’t speak in class unless you call on us.
We won’t take notes, but will expect you to
post the powerpoint online later. We need
an A, but will always be late
coming in (what syllabus?) because 7:40 is too early
for any class (I know, right?). We don’t work
well in groups, and hate working
alone (or at all). We will cringe
at red pen in our margins and will expect
our drafts back by tomorrow. We will all look
alike in our AE jeans and tight T’s,
our flat ironed hair. The boys aren’t gay,
they’re metro (duh). We will all be too tired
and we will ask if we can get out early today.
Everyday. We hate MLA format. We hate this class
and will probably write something
about your hair or your clothes on the course evaluation
if this semester even ends. We will
hate your favorite novel
because it’s random, and will miss
most of the major themes and all
of the poetic language and will misspell
the author’s name as Norton instead of Nordan,
and we won’t even notice. And besides, the civil
rights movement was last century
and we are so over it.

Dinner with Freud
He says I am projecting, in love
with my father. Hysterical. Pass
the salt and your ego, but hold the transference.
I know the right thing to do, but cannot
because I am all id, defiant, intent
on self-sabotage. Imp of the perverse
has joined us at the table. He’s hard
at work. Freud orders steak, medium-rare.
I am served without recalling having ordered
at all, a whole plate of nothing
recognizable. His knife, which is not just a knife,
slides through meat like a paralyzed arm.
I envy his fork, the stabbing motion.
My cutlery rests useless beside the dish, my mouth
wide open, no sound coming out. Classic.

Riding a Dead Horse
I beat it to death, lame,
mangy animal full of fleas. Glue
factory, dog food destination, bastard
of daylight, abandoned. Until me.
I saddle the carcass and click my tongue,
making galloping noises while I fly
toward a monster moon. All the things I have
said that have gone ignored are here
in the midnight of this ride. At dawn
my words, dark and riderless
will find homes in the heads
of the simplest of men.

© April Salzano 2013

April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons. Her work has appeared in Poetry Salzburg, Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Blue Stem, and Rattle, as well as other online and print journals. She serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.

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