Scott Hale is a poet living in Memphis, Tennessee (USA).
He is finishing a BA in English at Rhodes College.
When I am bored, I give myself a short timeline. I will either change forever in two weeks or remain uneventfully the same. You either exist on the internet or you don't. I've cracked seven phone screens. I've smoked a few cigarettes in a lifetime. When the trees fall down you know it's time to go somewhere else and come back again. Fifteen thousand clams covered in old bay should last me a year outside of ocean city in a small studio: open floor plan, mid grade environmentally friendly windows with a low grade environmental view, concrete walls with immortal construction math in graphite. If you ask, I'd say I feel most like the faux granite countertop. Sweep the cat hair into the corner, gather displaced litter under my feet to move it elsewhere, allow the place mat the burden of my crumbs. The Naval Academy students jog above the bricks of the fallen and distorted, or found grass, or whatever you'd like to call it, people running around inside of spaces. I think of prayer mats, northbound among trees which make their own yellow glow air before crunch time, I talk of empty air with sky. I don't run over anything. I don't have to take out the trash too much. Seven hundred and thirty days of my life are free, but what does that really mean? Beer glasses on weekends in bars off cobblestone, and every hour is happy because it is special? — Not quite . I think I left a real special to surround myself with faux granite countertops, compensated with thirty thousand clams.
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I see you like a snow globe from Long Beach Island circa two thousand and the year i was a child. I shake you up and the plastic snow falls to cover a different part of the lighthouse so that something else may show. I see my mother in you when I hate you and I see my father in you during afternoons, beer sweat on your fingernails with a history channel attention span. I see my mother in you when I know I knew better and I see my father in you when my faux-participation-award is felt and not heard. I see my life in you underneath the horizon of a future I didn't subscribe to with a bonus gift of thirty more years. Regrettably and unintentionally I shake you up, seeing the pieces that made me show out on their own time, taking their own moment in your context. Upside down I see it all, but the plexiglass dome doesn't sit correctly that way.
I'm a new man over a sax solo as I peep a young 3 minutes on the clock; at least I should be. I'm a different age, a year older, metaphorically wiser and metaphysically still nothing because I still don't really know what that means, a year closer to doing some things that I haven't done yet because it's not then yet. Blankets feel especially nice this time of year, let them sit on the radiator for a little while but don't leave home without tossing them back on the couch. Rattlesnake rattles come from the kitchen and the living room. I have two ceiling fans. The cat tower seems to be the hippest joint in town, and sometimes I wish I was on the list. Enough of that, there's work to do still. To-do lists have just become days and I've become a well oiled machine, even changing a headlight with precision and a shop rag in hand. Halogen never does well with fingers and oil and my father told me that over the phone and I think I'm finally coming around to his brand of love or maybe he just loves me more now, he says it back these days. Every time, I come home to the familiar meows and pomegranate and radiator steam and the tv and God said it is good.
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