Lay your head down to sleep with word for word transcripts of murder trials still ringing in your ears. One thousand stories from neighbors of lawless men. Their mouths open like baby blackbirds spewing out ink, instead of tiny songs, a river into the corridors of the dead. Sit down for cups of black tea without milk or sugar cubes, and someone might spill their guts. Reveal the location of the grand- children, now living by the dark harbors of Florida, avoiding Cubans, sharing Christmas dinners, no mention of court cases, criminal charges, black and white mug shots like school photos, a new one every year. Someone’s niece will tell you the entire truth if you gift her with black diamonds, panther skin rugs, a chapter in your book. She’s poised and reinvented, gathering canned food for mothers and wives who fled the crime scene with all their possessions, carried like wounded children, on their tired backs.
Although she received her MFA in Creative Writing more than 25 years ago, Beth Gordon can best be described as an emerging writer. She is the proud mother of three creative human beings, Matt, Alex and Elise, who fill her world with art and music. Beth resides in St. Louis, Missouri and spends most weekends in the company of fellow writers, musicians, wine drinkers, and two dogs named Izzie and Max.
my parents have a joint facebook account bc my mom found out my dad was messaging someone name TexasTitties2006 in an online poker game and she lost. her. goddamn. mind and threw the tv down the stairs.
The bridge rumbles as I drive across,
Below me is yesterday's town:
brick crumbling, machinery rusting,
the industrial revolution's terminal ward
by the slow brown river.
my mom got us banned from the swimming pool at the trailer park we lived in because she punched our neighbor in the face for walking to her mailbox to get her mail in sexy lingerie.
New skiff of snow on the roads and lawns
and a full moon above the night’s overcast.
I drive past two neighbors — two older men —
shoveling slush, their sidewalks scraped clean
The ambulance drivers in this town have no clocks
in their homes. Instead, the kitchen tables bear
sandbags and bean cans
and old issues of Playboy.
Iodine adorns the night stand.
the worst thing i ever did was spit on a mcdonald's cheeseburger that my aunt bought for me and threw it at her feet because i was mad my mom kicked me out of the house the week of my birthday for telling my hot english teacher that i had been in foster care.
Their bones keen a brittle dirge
for departed faith in possibility,
legitimacy, carried to rest
on backs bent over.
Imagine planting a garden. Imagine planting a garden of only yellow tulips. You love yellow tulips, the dusky smiles, stems’ green neutrality. Yellow tulips are your favorite. So mild.
His head was an apple
chest proud, deadman's float
while rows of parents looked on
with drowsy interest
His ghost was with me that morning
Wandering round my room
While I tried to write,
Lifting the corners of my laundry,
Making the dust dance in the light.