Blood Work: poems by Casey Charles. Number 3 in Volume Three of our limited-edition Summer Kitchen Chapbook Series.
Cover image: antique quilting fabric, Pennsylvania. Series design by Ron Mohring.
Published: July 25, 2012 [49 copies]
Limited edition – only 49 copies exist
Casey Charles teaches Shakespeare as well as lesbian and gay studies at the University of Montana, Missoula. He is the author of The Sharon Kowalski Case: Lesbian and Gay Rights on Trial (2003), Critical Queer Studies: Law, Film, and Fiction in Contemporary America (2012), and The Trials of Christopher Mann, a novel forthcoming in 2013. His first poetry chapbook, Controlled Burn, appeared in 2007 (Pudding House) and he is the winner of the 2010 Washington Square Poetry Award.
You’re on the bus from San Miguel to Mexico City,
glassed in and reclined, cane-syruped and soporific
before an ignored monitor where dark eyes of a male star
walk toward horses on a hillside. His car will explode behind him.
You have seen the movie; you are listening to Morning Jacket
on your Shuffle. You are looking out the window at your life.
Selling candy bars at the toll station. Waving Guadalupes
at the air-conditioned. No amount of spare change can assuage
the isolation of your aisle. You must give in to the rhythm of the ride;
cacti and a yellow malaise collar the thirsty plain.
Let these lyrics swallow you, slouched and plugged,
wheeled across mesquite, feeling in your bones the prickle of this trip,
transport to a sinking city. You’re on your way;
you don’t care if you ever get there. Sequestered in your seat,
rocking on shock absorbers, hijacked by the swell of hills.
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