Nicholas Grider – 3 Poems

Nicholas Grider

3 Poems


Gold curtains and cardboard.  The prop department
provides a means of going forth: a lifetime supply of fluff,
an escape hatch for the hired help.  Dudes
with lots of dosh in a truck out back
singing into fists.
Miscellaneous spangles.

The crowd arrives late.  Adult magic overtakes
the rec room, lower level.  Wood-paneled
scenarios and rehearsed confusion.  This n’ that.
Door number one: No
intimations of action.  No planned or sudden heat.

I was there.  I had ideas.
I hit my head on the end table like a champion
and went down like a messenger, colder
weather over my shoulder
and names whispered into a paper cup,
no strings attached, a whole lifetime
staying up late,

waiting to get hot.


People who glisten
on butcher paper in the foyer
in white shoes in September
wondering what happened
whatever happened
to pissing your pants once in a while, or crying,
flung over a public rock.  How romantic
is that?  Shaving over a pimple,
laying down at an adult party
an anniversary marked under an endtable
the crowd going wild, a precocious child behind the tool shed
clutching his stomach, as cute as a tick

it turns out everybody had that kind of childhood, an older sister
in every room, a hammer to hammer
in every garage, a minor heartache of great duration

the kind of boys who stay around long enough to sweep up

a night like a field trip, all long hair and cash settlements,
hiding out on the lawn and waiting
for peoples’ arrows to find the light

No One Ever Said It Was Easy

Long stories end like this: business majors
on the couch, each one a pale empire, a night out
under glass

having remained steadfast
at the charity brunch, having
hours, saints or beads for counting

opportunities wasted lengthening a weekend.
Ties tied.  Hands held.  A handful of people
willing to stay home and practice
thinking it over

                             There are victories like this;

victims of circumstance, local heroes
with lights in their windows, cheering sections
in the fields behind the buildings, wising up

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