The Card Players- Paul Cezanne

Two Poems

by Brad Bostian

Behind the Curtain

Sunday in the great house, preparations
Are being made on something like a stage
By something like dramatic actors
With props for something like an audience.
One like a master of ceremonies
Pours something like a god into something
Like souls' empty vessels, saying this
Is the way and the truth, this is the blood
And the bread and the bones of all our lives.
While those who believe taste every word,
Those who don't eat the popcorn of boredom
And wonder, who is behind the curtain?

Land's End

In that dream of not belonging,
I take the sand-spurs and the heel-burning road
Down to the land's end to make my reacquaintance
With the tides, nodding on my way at fish in buckets,
And fishermen tideless as if they sat in great Sunday houses.
Sunburned, the sand cares nothing for me, the spray, the tides,
The currents too strong, the insects hiding in buzz and drone,
Glass and cans and fishing line, cigarette butts and one-legged gulls;
And gray-green water. What if there were another way to baptize ourselves,
Washing only for the sake of the body but letting the soul collect its spurs?
The beauty of the sea comes out of the soulless pull below the living soup,
Its mineral disregard for anything that swims or walks.
I love it because it doesn't care for me or any thing, I could kill
Every fish and the sea would keep washing itself dirty
And clean, dirty
And clean.

Brad writes: I live in Charlotte with my wife and two dachshunds; my first novel is finally creeping toward its inevitable end; and so is my MFA degree at USC-Columbia, where I had the privilege of studying poetry with the (still I think) irrepressible James Dickey. With my degree in hand, I hope to teach creative writing, somewhere, anywhere, someday.

BACK TO Poetry List

To TOCE-Mail the AuthorSerendipity Link