Three Poems

Robert Cole

What comes to mind

When I think about you now
I think about bureaucrats with spear guns
and see you on a throne above Jacob’s ladder
overseeing the murder.

You’re taking photographs of blood
streaming across this sandy gym floor.

I think about what Texas hoped to become
when I think about your anxious conformity,
how it seemed right at the time to relieve your tension
by sacrificing the attributes of yourself that were real.

I imagine everything about you is more beautiful now
except who you are as a person.


Churches undermine each miracle and horizon
The steeples reach for heaven, eclipse the sun
and help man forget the distance ahead.

Churches seek to wrap us in a blanket of devout ambiguity.
no green mountain, no tranquil visage, no escape.
We are meant to give thanks.

Where there was once a vast expanse
Is now brick, metal and lumber.
Where we may wear nice clothes and park a car once a week.

More AstroTurf to replace the dying grass
that surrounds the house of god. For wealth
and industry guiltless we clasp hands, amen.

To pray and give alms for more adulteration.
the creator needs another church
a fleet of vans, a mission trip to Mars.

A Modern Arrival Myth

We study ergonometry in the arbitrarium.
Anything can happen. Uncomfortable things are made soft
and somehow more worth while, my strange world, a mess
made pretty, little jobs like cleaning the chair with lacquer,
sending a fax to another fax machine, scrubbing down the carpet.

Who knows, in this place, a roof without a ceiling, with stars
and little remnants of planets raining down into the air ducts
and water pipes, atoms darting to their next destination,
the dark matter collecting in rooms I have yet to enter,
and black holes created from draining water in the sink.

My manager, the one armed Titan, will point his trident
to the next available employment opportunity.
My knuckles will grow thorns
to meet the growing demands of a fierce job market.
The souls of dead gurus will haunt the clouds around us.

Blankets of memories will descend on the unassuming city of dreamz.
My car will run out of faith instead of gas
which is much more cost effective and better for the environment.
I’ll eat peppered lettuce with a spork.
I’ll watch the angels herald their return

with VHS players and obsolete cellphones.
They will be too late.
The Titan will ruin the carpet.
A lightning bolt through the drop ceiling,
Spiking fluorescent lights and electrical fixtures,

and up to the moon, which then awakens the dragon,
whose heart has been set on a three story townhouse just outside Chicago
for many, many millenium.


Robert Cole is among the winners of the 2013 Nazim Hikmet Poetry Competition and his writing has appeared in Connotation Press, Menacing Hedge, Jet Fuel Magazine, Dreginald, Tarpaulin Sky, Sein und Werden and other journals. He is the co-founder of Tallow Eider Quarterly and coauthor of Mutant Neuron Codex Swarm (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2015).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s