Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Page 2 of 137

we inspect each bug
the blue magnifying glass
makes us scientists

hideout

the fossil sky is a thick blanket
fog rolled in from the bay
the trees have disappeared
muffled birdsong drifts in waves
the sea is so close
other continents just a stone’s
throw away skip away
I’m invisible until that stone
thunks into the tide and sinks
down to the seafloor down

///

PAD 9: Hideout Poem

After the Show

we spent twenty bucks and two
hours to see a movie that showed
only things

we already knew about
urban blight dark corners
love magic and the way

popcorn smells after it’s
been stepped on by
two hundred shuffling feet

black birds land
on a chainlink fence rattling
so faint it could be your failing

heart
the ambulances were so far away
they couldn’t come in time

lone cirrus wisp
a temporary arrow
pointing back toward home

beyond/beneath

and she said the waves would come
the way she said the stars were gone
beyond/beneath were synonyms
and for once I listened and believed

how was it that we found our way
in imaginary boats
across this sun-flecked sea
where she said sharks once lived
beyond horizons and beneath the waves

ocean curls waves foam
sand toes sunk deeper down
lifeguard flags snap warnings of sharks
and wind and high concentrations
of bacteria washed down from floods
two days drive north of here

how was it that we found our way
how was it that we found this sea
how was it that we knew the stars
how was it that they led us home

///

Not a Journal: List Poem about a Body of Water

sulphur butterfly
stone skipping across the sky
wind and highway noise

Dear ladies of the Mothers’ clubs

see your son

see your son
a gun in his hand

belt of shells
around his waist

disarm that boy
teach him—

find diversion
without annihilation

///

Erasure poem from a letter written by M.B. Davis of Waco to the Texas Congress of Mothers in 1910 regarding the widespread killing of grackles by children who were encouraged to hone their marksmanship skills

Source—“A History of Austin’s Love-Hate Relationship with the Grackle” by Andrew Weber on kut.org

blue morning
ghost of a moon smile
three vultures

 

///

PAD #3: Three (blank)

my yard work helper
throws mud, laughing

high forties
running through sprinklers
in filthy pj’s

Panhandler Blues

like Guthrie his
guitar screams

this machine
kills fascists

this guitar
is an animal’s bite

imperfect neck gripped
tight to sparse

applause for a
street busker

trying to change
the world

each measure
a fool’s gamble

might as well
ask the planets

change orbits
for a few coins?

a loose needle
some matches
a few bucks

in the guitar case
open like a mouth
in mid-phrase

///

PAD #1: Fool | This Is Not a Literary Journal: Word Salad

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