Our Furniture Poems
She said, the professor,
write something about furniture
and once again I thunked my head on my desk.
The next week we came back and one by one
my classmates read
to me of deathbeds
and antique writing desks
in slow rhythmic voices so full of profundity
it was all I could do not to scream.
Many wore black.
But then they always wore black
and tortoise-shell eyeglass frames
and sipped funky-smelling expensive coffees
from tall cups with those little cardboard
We discussed the significance of upholstery
and leather and enjambment.
Lemon scented polish in free verse.
How a bed having harbored a death
gains something. And how one must
engender a new life within its coverlets.
The poet cannot help but seek inspiration
from the spirits
haunting the ornate old writing desk.
Mine was about the lack of furniture.
When someone has taken all or most of your furniture
away with her, the room does not
with unrestricted sightlines
at all look bigger.
Yes, it echoes.
Yes, you see the spots you missed when cleaning,
dents in cheap carpeting.
But the room feels smaller because you see straight across
wall to wall with no interruption
from the things you filled it with
to support your weight.
Walking’s for lovers and old folks
not two grassy-kneed boys
parent-free and full of devilment
at an October carnival and the sun goes down
and the rides light up aw cool
but the breeze has these icy fingers
that are just mean man
Shivering on the Tilt-a-Whirl and Ferris Wheel
but who cares my caramel apple is so good
it’s giving my shadow cavities
I only knock two out of three milk bottles down
so it’s off to the Smash ‘Em Up cars with their long
sparking tails where we bump and scatter
like spermatozoa on a microscope slide
I pause for like a second at the Carousel
“Merry-Go-Round’s for kids,” you say
but I caught you looking too
at the bright sugar-shell enameled horses
carved straining faces rolling eyes
going slowly round up and down
to that tinny music up and down
We’re too big and free for carousel round-a-bouts
but it’s hard to look away from the horses
going slowly up and down
Jeff is an IT professional and writer living in Warner Robins, Georgia.
His work has previously appeared in Strange Horizons, Every Day Poets,
The Houston Literary Review, Illumen, Not One of Us, Liquid Imagination,
Falling Star Magazine and Shot Glass Journal, among others. He is an
editor for Every Day Poets: www.everydaypoets.com. <firstname.lastname@example.org>