Of Tylenol and anemic soot

Photo - Douglas Salisbury

Photo – Douglas Salisbury

“My truck is the size of a green wheelbarrow full of dead horsepower.
I dug it up in the cemetery.
” ― Jarod Kintz, Sleepwalking is restercise

This poem is the stale beer left overnight,
it’s a Tylenol breakfast
and the grime under your fingernails.

This poem is ambition of your spilled oil,
it’s persistent chrome on rust,
and kudzu left to cover graves.

This poem is anemic soot,
it’s mold on schoolbooks,
it’s the gloom —- scratching underneath
before you fall to sleep.

This poem is what always should be lost,
what should be buried deep.
But at the end its headstone legacy
remains a hungry heart.

Susie present the wonderful Photography of Douglas Salisbury at Toads, and this is where it took me. I had never written to Hannah’s prompt on “This poem is .. “, and this is where it took me.

22 responses to “Of Tylenol and anemic soot

  1. what should be buried deep.
    But at the end its headstone legacy
    remains a hungry heart.

    Cannot be helped. Invariably there’ll be longings that linger on into the future!


  2. I love your take on Hannah’s form, with your signature dark viewpoint. The term ‘anaemic soot’ is inspired. This is existentialism at its best.

  3. Pretty sad. And not just that someone left half empty beers as wounded soldiers, but that there are those that hang onto things until they eat their own guts.

  4. I knew from your title that I was going to LOVE your take on the “This poem is” form and I definitely did….love the ‘anemic soot’ and the ‘persistent chrome on rust’—fantastic images!

  5. Super rad title.

    This is definitely my favorite: “This poem is … the grime under your fingernails.” Scratch, scratch. Poetry-writing should definitely involve a fight, peel off a few layers of skin, get down and dirty. Clean, sweet, well-behaved poems don’t usually grab my attention like the gritty, sharp, shocking ones. Show me the underbelly of a city, and I’ll do a naked dance down its shadiest streets.

  6. I like this. It’s so real and that in itself is an understatement. You have condensed a lifetime in a few wonderfully beautiful and descriptive lines…and I knew the people and the times.

    Thanks for your kind comment.

  7. Ah, Tylenol just off the rumpled bed sheets. Breakfast of Champions, yes. This whole poem had rusty edges and is an ode to all things Springsteen. His songwriting sensibility, I love, forever. Thanks, Bjorn! Amy

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