Two Poems by Gregory Lawless

for Kristin

I don’t like the little girl
god and her glitters
and wolfsmells.

I don’t like the way
she’s always sniffling
drinking rainbow wine

or knocking down barns
with her crutches.

I don’t like how she rabbits around
in the bushes
and pops her head out
suddenly with something

in her teeth,
like a dog with a stick.

I don’t like: her French
accent, her crayon fangs

or the black wings, always
flapping, on her flats.

There she is now, peeling
a star, seething.

Her batty eyes all agog.

Making her never-ever-face,
hungry and squinched.

I know

she’s just lonely
growing up eternally.

But I don’t like
how she threatens

to turn me
into a tree, and carve

a heart in me
around her unspeakable

name. I don’t like

how she can only love
one thing at a time.

And I don’t like
being this one thing,

being just
this one thing.



Persnickety hayricks and grab-assing weeds
dream of unbelief to the pylon birds
and the sieve flowers while my hearts walks
its rickety plank into oceans of pollen
and each pitchfork of field tastes good
to the mountains who dedicate their
tonnage and ice to staring contests with
the sky. The mountains nobody me
but I forgive them, while my blimp-headed
father looks down from his heaven,
full of frost and love and the cold fireworks
of snow. He sweeps broomfuls of silence
through the trees and I say somebody please
explain these clouds to me please. Somebody
explain these father-eyes and burrs. Now
I’m just a quailburst in the brush, a flailing wing
or three, an agitation of flight; I’m a nothing-
much, a wait-for-me, full of blotched
astonishment and look-at-that. And I notice
all the birds and things not noticing me,
but I’m too half-broken hearted
not to notice them back.


Gregory Lawless Gregory Lawless

Gregory Lawless is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and author of I Thought I Was New Here (BlazeVOX Books). His work has either appeared in or is forthcoming from Artifice, Best of the Net 2007, Cider Press Review, The Cortland Review, Drunken Boat, Gulf Stream, The National Poetry Review, Sonora Review, Third Coast, Zoland Poetry and others. He has twice been nominated for a Pushcart. He lives in Waltham, Massachusetts with his wife, Jen, and his cat, Mr. Sparkles.

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