RJ Gibson | You Could Learn a Lot

Gibson_YOU COULD LEARN A LOT_web coverYou Could Learn a Lot: Poems by RJ Gibson. Number 2.08 in the Seven Kitchens Press Editor’s Series.

Cover art by the author.

Release date: August 15, 2014 [125 copies]
32 pages

RJ Gibson holds an MFA in Poetry from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. His writing has appeared in Court Green, Columbia Poetry Review, Kenyon Review Online, Waxwing, Cortland Review, Weave, Assaracus, and other journals and anthologies. He lives and works in West Virginia. He always hopes to run into John Waters when in Baltimore.

Dear Dad

I’ve been in the news a lot lately, maybe you saw.
Not so much in the news as on.
I was in the background
somewhere between stories on the election and the subprime fiasco.

It’s not hard to get on TV here–so many remote set-ups,
two-man operations, on 6th Ave,
(one of them I think was Portuguese!)
I pretended I was what I was, a tourist,
looking up at the tickers, the lights.

I even took pictures with my camera to look more authentic.
I made sure to turn and walk into frame,
just behind the reporter’s right shoulder.
I ignored their camera so it wouldn’t seem
I was only there to be seen during the nightly news.
It was just turning to night
and there were these fairy lights in some trees.
I was wearing my best wool coat and scarf.
I thought I looked smart without trying too hard.

I wish there’d been more coverage
as I exited Grand Central Station and lit a cigarette
(these days that’s dramatic).
But there was only a van and cameraman for NY 1,
soggy from the rain and cold.

I lingered at Bryant Park outside the tents
but it wasn’t Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,
so there was nothing but people who looked like they’d be happier if it was June
and they were in the Hamptons.
Nothing but distracted hurry,
belted coats, glossy umbrellas.

So I kept walking up and down 6th Ave,
three times a day, doing a good job of being what I was,
of being small in this city and glad of it.

  • Purchase You Could Learn a Lot here or send an e-mail query to sevenkitchenspress at gmail dot com.
  • Purchase RJ’s chapbook, Scavenge (winner of the Robin Becker Chapbook Prize) here.

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