Russell Jaffe – Two Poems

Russell Jaffe

Two Poems

I Love the Destroyer

The destroyer left all the plots of land around when it was too
cold to grow.

I am no longer hungry. The finale of a dance competition show is
on tonight, and road signs have been tipped over,

and when it gets warmer out the fields become
mud, and I have a hole in my shoe,
and my cable bill has increased.

A variant of a dead field is still on lockdown.
Barriers: would you even for a second believe it,
laden with trees, rocks mark roads,
this is what I have to thank for being
invited to poetry.

To make a rustic imposition, long tracts of land
need to be speckled with houses, and the houses are connected to
Fields are chopped and laid out.
In pro wrestling, when someone is quickly demolished and pinned,
it is called a squash.

It isn’t Fall. Piles of land on top of land are orange and tan.
Tipped over road signs have been annihilated slowly
by a long series of factors: no thing in particular.

Poems are proliferated with grassy smells. My friends and family
react like they are going to get something.
Smoke clouds show up from herbs, also.

Abandoned, but with remarks:
everyone just turning 17 says
I should have peed on more grass and slammed more car doors
in more peoples faces harder.
To not complete the connection is to be squashed.
This is to write love poems to long stretches of land all day.

Birds in flight in the poem are constantly at war with what is actually happening.
And also, the birds were looking at me.

They were eating bird

Barn owls,
                                                 Barn owls. Their
faces, white spoons, have

             black cherries
                                     in them.

Their beaks are drooping, their claws on the planks
                         make a dooking sound.

Clustered in an upstairs pit, doughy faces are

                         bowling pins.

             I apologize.

I didn’t mention a wooden ladder with a camcorder

             on night vision

strapped to my hand.

                         My sweat, palatable

peeling like Velcro from itself on the handle.

A cluster of barn owls were up in the barn,

                                     eating chicks.

             The limp bodies hung boneless,

             liquid as funeral rain into the ground at a country funeral.

                         I watched them eat the birds the size of their faces.

Some hissed at me. I apologize.

             I watched this on my computer. I

live on the 5th floor of an apartment in New York city.

             Upstairs is always the secret surprise.

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