“Reflection #6,189” by Robert Nazarene

Robert Nazarene


Married in America

I’m having mixed emotions. Like the night
my ex-mother-in-law loopdy-
looped off a cliff
—in my new car,

a waste of a perfectly good Volvo.
Volvos seat six. Plenty of room
for the rest of her Coal-Age
brood—aggressive little pinheads

perched in their La-Z-Boys,
grimy as the dirty dishes, the dogs’ bowls,
the cat boxes—piled high

in the kitchen stink.
My ex-mother-in-law. The Orbicular.
God rest her sow. She ate
pickled pigs’-feet & drank Miller’s High-Life

beer. For a living. And my ex-wife:
we were a match made in Gehenna,
living proof of God’s infinite loving-
kindness—making just two people

miserable, instead of four.
If I sound bitter—
it’s because you are. Step aside.
I can’t fucking see myself in the mirror.

from Rattle #52, Summer 2016


Robert Nazarene: “I wrote my first poem at age 50. I’ve never been to a poetry class. I prefer to be a pseudo-intellectual rather than a garden variety intellectual. All the props and none of the heavy lifting. My family is, naturally, ashamed. But I haven’t had to drink over it. Yet.” (website)

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