little perk of self-approbation with which
fulfillment means disaster
a cold hand came on
startled to begin with
close together in front of the steps up to the house
You’re Mrs. [Page 148]
Mr. missed exceedingly his affection
Mr. Half As Well As I Do My Dear
Mr. so near a vicinity
to her very material advantage
the promise of balls and young men
suspected by her father
she could still moralize every morning
their characters suffered
It is a great comfort to have you so rich
Who is that
in her pink almost
people getting emptier and emptier
That did make her happy.
but for a moment this terror
this ecstasy he thought to himself
out of respect to his former mistress
a wilderness of boys
the most beautiful things
being the sauce best beloved by the boyish soul
these unromantic facts
I saw no point
on the whole
the way light would
on a windowsill
I threw the coins in
the water in such a way
I almost moved.
in my defense
I know “nothing”
Mr. knocked on my door, told me
he had been feeling uneasy
we’d held the Ugly Pain Competition
We discussed it: Was the winner of an Ugly Pain
the person who made the uglier pain
or the person who made pain inadvertently?
Did I want to come with them?
up to the observation deck we arranged ourselves
like stroke marks left behind by the players
dark roots from above
drinking from our bottles very heavily.
They bent low, one threw himself to the ground
and missed. We turned our attention
to anything but explosions, his sweet tic
long tears fell
on the children’s chairs
after her brother made his decision
they both pledged themselves
more than children
the blank suburban space
they were supposed to
she could run away any time
she intended to hammer his head into a jelly
a little travel-stained
over those loose planks last summer
packing away his tools
a little swim, before dinner
There was no one thing in the world she desired.
Like antagonists that had overcome her
she knew a way to elude them
her old bathing suit still hanging
the night she swam out
the blue-grass meadow
he’d get furious about
getting eaten by tigers
or getting drowned in the river
the supernatural light that follows
This bend or branch
too expensive for my mother
but with him scarcely
Chance did not forget
“the happiest days of her life”
more tragic than they are today.
He behaved as usual
water from the jars
called me his child.
but not of his feet on the desk
the dimmer dusty older he gets
to amble bearish into infinitude
a lapse he thinks of as “his book”
her version of his life
an oddly repellant love poem.
He has resisted the middle-aged
tendency to retreat,
the model’s secret pride.
Sometimes he shuts the book he is
such an unprepossessing object.
I can move him no further from me.
Jameson Fitzpatrick is the author of the chapbook Morrisroe: Erasures (89plus/LUMA Publicatons), which comprises 24 versions of a single text work by the artist Mark Morrisroe, and his poems have appeared in publications including The Awl, The Literary Review, The Offing, Poetry_, and Prelude_. He lives in New York, where he teaches at NYU.