Poems of the Week – Liam Rector

5 May

MORPHINE

Liam Rector

I see Eliot banking his way towards work
in the underground tube,
see his clothes, his hair, how it all suited him.
A “subtle conformist,” Williams called him.
He sees currency moving in utter stillness–
I hear him saying It is not a problem to be solved
and living with it. In Boston
my best friend, my memory of him, measures
the Numorphan in the void
of his cleaned-again needle.
“It’s synthetic morphine,” he says. “Here they call it
new blues.” He draws the blood
up into the new blue, boots it a few times,
lets himself have it, then sinks back,         mated
for the night                     Mississippi still has
half moons
on the doors of its motels by the bay.

***
from The Sorrow of Architecture, Dragon Gate

 

 

OLD COAT

Liam Rector

Dressed in an old coat I lumber
Down a street in the East Village, time itself

Whistling up my ass and looking to punish me
For all the undone business I have walked away from,

And I think I might have stayed
In that last tower by the ocean,

The one I built with my hands and furnished
Using funds that came to me at nightfall, in a windfall. . .

Just ahead of me, under the telephone wires
On this long lane of troubles, I notice a gathering

Of viciously insane criminals
I’ll have to pass

Getting to the end of this long block of eternity.
There’s nothing between us. Good

Thing I look so dangerous in this coat.

***
from American Prodigal, Storyline Press

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