Colton Huelle currently lives in Newmarket, New Hampshire (USA) with his wife,
their greyhound, and a very old cat who happens to live with them. Outside of
writing, his interests including teaching, book hoarding, and Dylanology. His
poems have appeared or are forthcoming in PRISM Review, Third Wednesday
Magazine, The Sow's Ear Poetry Journal, The Yellow Chair Review, and After the
Pause. Twitter: @cbhuelle
A Domestic Scene
A stray chicken
leaves fractal trees,
fine and grey, between
two trampled dust piles.
A cohort of mites
digests against the grain
the handle of a broom
a farm boy left behind.
Barefoot and not having slept, I am satisfied to catch the morning sun off-guard, though it's no way to live, you know—chasing these chain-smoking muses past the finish line of dawn. I flick my cigarette over the porch rail and think about how shitty I've been to the body I must remember is as much myself as my words and ways. I vow to be gentler as I descend to the street, where a condom wrapper is scuttling down the pavement, freshly exhumed from winter burial. How quaint to tell the time by the pendulums of messenger bags slung over the shoulders of young men with grave faces; quaint to puzzle myself over one who stands beneath an oak tree, holding a leaf blower out of season. In seven minutes I am at the bus stop, where the breath of infant grass rejuvenates the musty-scented corner store coffee, for nothing in May is suffered to remain stale—just as when the imperious, flat-faced bus lands at the curb over which two scabby feet are curled, the degenerate who has forgotten his shoes cannot be suffered to board.
An old busker sat on a stone wall, plucking
our ripe memories from the nylon strings
of his guitar, which lent a certain gravitas
to the acquisition of coffee,
the sending out of mail,
the wiping of cream cheese from the lips.
A tacit thank you leapt from every passing face.
Even the parking attendant whistled
through his frown.
The legs that dangled from steel girders above
swung along like clumsy metronomes.
The yellow hard hats swayed at the melody's command.
Memory supplied the measures swallowed
by the roaring crane. Sentiment amplified
the coy arpeggios that swept
each worker back to his wedding night.
Rhapsody for a Rainy Night
Long after the jazz of slow rain
has crooned its final suite into the night,
your fingers still are drumming on my hip
a rhythm only they could tease from this storm.
The runoff from cypress leaves, like the soft
hiss of a cymbal, punctuates the melody
I've sheltered in a dry pocket of my brain.
This old, familiar tune—once so well-rehearsed—
now swells into the measures of rhapsody's madness.
Throw your book of standards out the window:
let grow the sheets waterlogged and bloated,
let bleed the ink of loyal quarter notes.
For we are cleansed at last of the will to restore
the shells of form we've scattered on the floor.
Back to Front.