r u s s e l l    j a f f e

 

 

Shout your losses out


June in America









































Shout your losses out

 

This morning’s instant war is slowing. Brewing. The trouble is in hands and the moisture the selfish day takes. Read this on every fortune on every sandwich wrapper, in every card suit on every coffee machine cup damp as flowers. And flowers were those things that pulled you out, but now damp and folded and piled like dams in the morning where it’s bluish and everything’s one color but not the same amount angry, they are zones. There’s an abyss, so do the expected thing and stare into it. Black sparrows are apparitions of threats through clouds being built over water while our mortal young sleep and we go to work. Black sparrows warn the morning to reveal its intentions. But it only reveals coordinates and sinks back into a density of water and plants. The morning is without suspect. The trouble with people. Their doors like terse, wet dew. Stories of lazy armor. Tactful dress. Ship off this morning. Say you love and meditate on them. But trouble stays slow and monochromatic, an autoanxiety. You shake with loss. Gravel roads loosen themselves from between the treads of your hands and feet. Reach out and touch the disguise. How it moves like a sheet. How buttery the cloth, spreadable, like maps of velvet leaves. People. The trouble with them is that they guided to places. Really, this is all about myself. It can also be about you.

 

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June in America

You aren’t there and there’s nothing you can do
but watch TV and check CNN.com sometimes;
at coffee you think these shackles worn or
your wrists have gotten skinnier, and good for you for that.
Whatever the case you’re used to them.
Anyway there are magazines that like that sort of thing,
shiny, black, sleek,
the smell of fire without smoke, Teflon pans broiling fat
are slick like ducks in June.
Blackberries’ little globs secret themselves into delicate lattices of green.
Nobody ever expects little things like this, CNN.com or no.
Sandpipers yellow feet dragged the sun into runny whites.
Leave them alone, some of them are poets.
What is geese to bread or
walking backwards
and blaming if the individuals only know what they know because they’re them and
them buys and drives their own car and them fills their car and drives home and them
waits at lights—to them, ducks are sky formations.
Sip the black coffee slowly and you’ll note that
ducks fly together. You write this down.
Religious friends agree on this:
Nothing turns sexy black. Things go from tan or brown to gray.
Black sloe berries busy them get the time to drink gush open wide
but neglect other things that gush looks like.
who awaits marshes hands open
These ponds are brushes we use for our hair.
Our best individuals go into PR and say
don’t be a pond about this.
They’re closing the beaches.
Go forth into nature
dragging your own chains.

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RUSSELL JAFFE teaches English at Kirkwood Community College and creates installation art in Iowa City, IA. He holds an MFA in poetry Columbia College Chicago and his poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Horse Less Review, Shampoo, elimae, La Petite Zine, and others. His chapbook G(*)D is forthcoming from Pudding House Press and he is the founder/editor of O Sweet Flowery Roses, a journal of experimental and emerging poetry.

 

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