Three Sleeps: A Historomance, by Richard Blevins, 1992

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Three Sleeps: A Historomance
By: Richard Blevins
Igneus Press
1992
Poetry

103 in stock

Description

 

“The drunkenness of great fear…”

 

The girl in the next room is why i write,

but she cannot know I’m here. Always

listening at the membrane for her

acoustical return–door slam, air space, spigot.

I imagine a design on my eardrum

to match the design of the wallpaper.

The sound of her turning on

the bedside lamp, like crickets

lost inside a dark trim lawn.

Once when I suddenly felt sure she was

bending there at her endtable writing a poem

about me, I panicked for a minute

Before reason returned alone to its

own rented room.

If I go outside to eat

they’ll lock me out

and sell my clothes.

Some days the drink I am drinking seems too weak,

but it means I can stay like this virtually forever.

She never answers the phone. I never call.

I can make love in this position virtually forever.

Sometimes

about suppertime I play a tape to make it sound

like a family on this side reuniting

after its members’ various days.

When I know she’s in, I try to use the water

about as much as an LA family of 2.8 would.

But because she grew up in Portland

my demographics are probably off.

Her tv must be (a) bust, or (b)

she much prefers to watch with the sound down.

Twice a week, there is the lingering scent

of Chinese take-out. Marihuana not for a long time.

If I’m watching a sitcom

I’ll cue my tape of the three voices

laughing their appropriate ages, gender, and dispositions;

if it’s a drama night, I play full-blast thirty minutes of Silent Longing.

One particularly bad night, when I needed to call her

or knock on her blue door or knock it in,

(d. All of the above are true.),

I found Emerson translating the Vita Nuova:

“Whatever in the mind hinders dies

When I come to behold you, o beautiful joy,

And when I am near you, I hear Love

Who says, Fly, if you are loath to die…

And through the drunkenness of great fear

The stones seem to cry, Die, die…”

–Which makes no sense to me today The

Stones are still playing Sympathy for the Devil

somewhere inside the bowl of Southern California.

Ageless drum slam, air space, spigot.

I mark my days in this captivity like

so many hyphens in the old headline,

DUMB ASSED DOUBLE BARRELED SHOT GUN TURNED ON

MIDDLE AGED PUNCH DRUNK MAN HELD IN CASE

BY GIRL NEXT DOOR AND HER CLEAN CUT.

Whereas drinking in the morning is worse than drinking

alone is much worse than not drinking at all.

To reload:

I mean, if I am the soft underbelly,

then she is swallowed alive n its fat gut.

I mean everybody’s dead but us.

I’ve got no one any longer

to get back to.

 

from Three Sleeps: A Historomance, by Richard Blevins, Igneus Press, Bedford, NH, 1992, p. 116-117