April 22, 2010

Jamie Thomas

1973

If spring is the season of beginnings,
then autumn’s the shotgun wedding,

though the shotgun is seldom needed
in these parts anymore. The idea

of the thing is as loaded as the thing
itself. Think powder blue tuxedo,

bride slightly showing, January baby.
It’s not their fault; the whole decade

was a mistake. Not the chalkboard
but the fingernails. The morning

after the night they’ll never remember.
All that polyester, all those sand paper

leisure suits—all the Quaaludes
make sense now. Forget about words

like turmoil that try to be too much
about life; they’re not nearly enough.

The word alone won’t burn you.
First yell Fire, then run out into the snow.

from Rattle #23, Summer 2005

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Jamie Thomas: “There are all these moments, movement that needs slowing, clothes tumbling in the dryer, socks being lost to wherever it is they disappear. There’s too much thinking and not saying going on. Poetry’s not made, it already exists. I read poems because I want to be a witness. I write them for the same reason.”