gary lundy (Western Voices 2020)

Exclusive: Western Voices, 2020: Edited by Scott Thomas Outlar
Bio: gary lundy's poems have appeared most recently in The BeZine, EthelThe CollidescopeThe McKinley ReviewFilling StationShark Reef, and Anti-Heroin Chiceach room echoes absence, was released by FootHills Publishing (March 2018). gary is a retired English professor and queer living in Missoula, Montana.

to change the common ordering

seek renewed guidance through the vacuous unfamiliar
what's left when even their scent vacates
maybe that's why you refuse to change the sheets
even months later
when even the sun on their face fails to last longer
than a brief pause
prose may fill that void when nothing
is the only thing that matters
file down the intrusions into slivers of interest
they give so much of themselves that emptiness
the only felt constant
mop the damn floors stupid
clouds bask in a wonder of possible rain or snowfall
hours line up forgetting where they've been
unexplained disorder on the linear plane
plans never made even when intended
envy rattles the doors and windows
search a way out of want for what cannot become
not even within the liquid filled with dizzying dreams
effusive in their random phantom acts of disempowerment
i was once taught that every plant has its own particular personality
earlier you spent the better part of two hours conjuring their likeness
in the pain of razor wax and clothespins
nevertheless once again nothing came of it
except the blistering affirmation of pain as an affirmation
of being alive
locating that fear produced when another
notices them outside your window
innocence a compound moment conjoining
with other past participles

a night of crying as explosive events from childhood

push out present happiness
such rituals held within survival
few of us can't understand
description only serves to distance and placate
there's no escaping the fall over handlebars concussed
at that particular movement
yet in our naivete we believe sharing accompanies understanding
when their parent returns drunk
roars in stupid perceptions of being deceived
of teaching a lesson
fear rises to the forefront of the visual
pheromones suddenly engulf a moment of touch
knocking the ritualized thought out of mind
confusion may arise when too many proper nouns surround
overplay themselves
hair tangled by design advertised as non clingy
static free
membrane resolution when eyes gaze into eyes
hollow nothing explains the sudden elongated illnesses
frivolous retirement meant to escape the pull of prepositions
a feeling of blank emotion
children barred from careless play
or gunfire interruption putting an end to worship
the same preinstalled planning
the real problem remains hidden behind secrets
or simply pink eye
tear the perforated pages out and reshuffle them
understanding the singular i overused
reserve a distinct disorder
they is a common enough adage to go unnoticed
whenever articulated

how can excess possibly be defined as success

an infant with unusual inquisitive eyes
compelled out of that deep recess of before birth
hues shaped in contrast to the drab lighting
were i eating that drink topped with whipped cream
my sweater would turn golden white
tattooed sleeves are no better at shielding from the cold air
than bare arms brittle in below zero weather
at such times pheromones collect in the drain
where the dripping faucet keeps alive its moisture
ignore their awkwardness
preoccupied by sudden electronic light flashes
the table suddenly uneven
although the cups of liquid remain stilled
immersed in the nonverbal absence
when sleep prevails while wide awake
not even so far as a disgruntled moan
with our glasses off
you are the only object that remains in focus
does this same equation work when language is only found in isolation
on the page lying open
smoke alarm tranquility
of finding a forced direction
sequential nerve endings out of sync
you remain fond of glossing over
especially difficult turns of passages
rarely reply in excrement
get on board the cost of cutting corners
when a spider
moderately sized
falls off their sweater
worn all day without incident
feather a soft playful meditation

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