40th Anniversary Feature: IN THIS SMALL WORLD & I LEFT THE COMFORT OF THE SEA

Sep 18, 2013 | Archive, Feature

By MARK NEELY
BWR Poetry Editor, 2000-2001

 

In this small world

In this small world
there is a starfish

pressed on the beach
like a crippled hand.

A crumpled baby picture,
the handsome strangers of the internet,

and Bin Laden’s tiny
television. Pine trees shivering

like addicts on the mountain.
I wanted to tell you about the bees.

I wanted to ask the youth if they are over
being shocking, to say

one night I came home drunk
and watched Daniel Pearl’s beheading.

 

 

I left the comfort of the sea

I left the comfort of the sea
for the Inland Empire for Peter

Pan and Asperger’s and drought
doubt of the minor painter

I refuse to sleep until I get
the hang of time of television’s

wide hours and half-hours
its Martin and Charlie Sheens

scrims and screens through which
we see ourselves Lost Boys

staggering across the wall
in that old parable

sleep is too slow
a verb for this new world

 

 

Mark Neely’s first book, Beasts of the Hill, won the FIELD Poetry Prize and was published by Oberlin College Press. His work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Boulevard, Barrow Street, and elsewhere. He was poetry editor of BWR from 2000-2001.

 


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