Image: Marc Chagall, ‘The Flying Carriage’, 1913
Elden Morrow is a recent MA in Literature and Culture graduate from the University of Birmingham. He loves the poetry of Frank O’Hara and Gerard Manley Hopkins (who he wrote his dissertation on), and is particularly interested in poetry where there are abrupt shifts in tone and dialect.
They robbed me blind.
By that I mean they took everything
from my flat. But by it I also mean that
they stole my glasses. I’ve got four days left
of contact lenses.
The note on the door read
‘This’ll teach you to sleep with our wives’.
I hadn’t slept with anyone’s wife, and now
had been robbed blind without even
committing adultery. Good Lord, I am unfortunate.
I keep a six shooter on me now.
Its company stops me getting lonesome, but
I do worry that my aim could go awry without my
spectacles. Without a dime to my name
I find myself freewheelin’ these roads,
destitute and wifeless. The other day I got pulled
over by a state trooper. He asked me
for my identity and I squarely replied
‘I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness’.
It was two miles from the county border.
I have no idea where I was headed. When I went
to the carpenter to get my door repaired he
made me a coffin. I asked him why and all he said was
‘Make straight for the way of the Lord’.
What a curious fellow.
O thou lord of life, send my roots rain
And all this time, whilst I was in the house
washing the dishes and preparing the ratatouille
you were outside, amidst the fields of burdock
and priest’s crown, gazing into the million
million faces of God. What kind of a division of
labour is that? The days grow cold, and the
cherry blossom that once lay idly on our lawn
has all but melted into the soil. It is about
time I began peeling the garlic.