Susan Elbe

Issue #
September 27, 2015

Listening to Ry Cooder's Feelin' Bad Blues

Slathered with well-bottom darkness, the stink
of this slide is my hanker, my haunt, my harrow

and a monkey moon loose in the night is
my rancor, my road-spent, my rising.

I should be inviting the angels on telephone poles
who beckon with pinwheel eyes,

but instead my fingers worry these rook-eyed
beads. They’re my hammer and hesitation.

When it seems there’s no light in this
dimming world, and only a small window

burns in a house too far, it’s not those
angelic songs humming in wires

where I find my baggage, my bootstrap,
my backbone, but inside this gut-strung yowl.

Someone once told me, from the bottom
of a well, you can see stars in daylight.

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