tightsqueeze center songs


if i were cleverer
i might know the motion of the leaves

and soil in winter, where i just see
the forest’s carpet of brown bones,

just the deer and february
birds, them that stay.


but i am not clever,
nor am i good nor ordered, oh,

all i am is luck,


the embodiment of it, luck that can
reject a city only to come back a few years

later and take liberties with the goodness
of folks and drive a day up 29 in dark rain

unworried by money, unworried by the future,
unworried by others, pulling in and out

of tightsqueeze (pittsylvania county, where there
is a food lion) with an inward laugh,

unworried by the damage of my hands and
the damage of my eyes that would

not look on you in pain.


all i am is luck, who could hide from it
in asheville with near strangers,

kneel by the waters of badin
full of tender pity for my own self,

by the brown yadkin nobly decide not to end it all,
a martyr to martyrdom and a prophet too.


we earn so little of what we have;
it hardly seems worth mentioning

unless to comment that what happened
after badin and bethania grief and all that nonsense

felt a lot like hell and looks a lot
like heaven, far away now,

now that i can see it.


all i am is luck,
such that i would see this woods

and think it all a dead and ugly place
ignorant of what is being prepared;

of the hadedas, too,
all the hadedas

in melville.

the curse of great beauty [for eef]

there should be an instagram for unpleasant things:
ranch stuck in beards and bikinis from poor angles,

blurry pictures of dead squirrels and row on
row of dirty dishes in sinks rarely washed

legal disclaimers and rejection letters photographed
on resume paper in artful lower case

indexing the minor miseries of the era in a
hot harmattan wind of dorito dust and anxiety.

grid upon grid of the floor behind refrigerators
covered in little mouse shits, with saturated colors,

badly parked cars and wilted spring mix; oh,
leave it for our children as a monument, a windblown

antidote to the dulcet fascism of san serif fonts and
negative space, of making yourself out better than you

are, or saying that you aren’t, which in
the world’s deep cruelty amounts to

much the same thing.