Poetry by Robert Beveridge

Poetry by Robert Beveridge

A SEASON IN THE MIST

But what makes it seem like your dog
died—the real shit of it, Bubba—is how
much damn time everything takes. You
see, you cut off each finger at the second
knuckle for your jar of phalanges, then
you need just the right amount of fried
bats’ brains, just a touch of formaldehyde
to hold everything together. What can you
do, though? Gotta get up every morning
and go to work just like everyone else.
Gotta get the food on the table, pay
the bills, feed the longpig. Keep
the threat of war from our shores
with ritual after ritual, martyr after
martyr, never found. And no, of course
I ain’t tellin’ you where the bodies
are buried. The less you know, et
cetera. There ain’t no control-alt-
delete to reset your life when the feds
come knockin’. But no, the meat
I give you every winter ain’t nothin’
more than venison, keep your ears on.
But if you notice some more unsavory
neighbors missin’ a middle finger
or two...well, let’s just say sometimes you
push too far, you become the hand that feeds.

 

ABSENT FONDLE

I guess
it was inevitable
as I stared at you

my fingernails
would work their way
through my palms

oceanfloor green eyes
always do it to me

don't mistake me
for the messiah

but I've been known
to play the role
of Pocket Savior
at inappropriate times

I don't do prayers
but the right combination
of incantation and kiss
will guarantee
a sympathetic ear
and an old saw or two

 

ACE OF CUPS (REVERSED)

The lips move, but the voice
is faster, or slower, doesn’t curl
up in a ball in the back corner
of the counter, behind the hanger
steak and tripe. The butcher, it
is said, kisses each beast before
he dismantles it; no one can
confirm, however, nor can
anyone deny. Those with educated
palates swear his meat
has a deeper flavor; the rest
of us form hexagonal burgers,
drench short ribs in neutrinos
and deconstructionism,
but find nothing but muscle
and sinew between our teeth.

 

Cover image courtesy of EdgeofReason

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