Trigger Warning:

Side effects may include digging
a hole in your personal snow

to a time before your heart
floated next to your father’s heart

like jars of octopus floating
on a shelf in moonlight

when you watched those hearts
float back to earth

under orange & white parachutes after you
attached model rockets to them

& chased each other around
a field with battle axes

 

I’m On a Good Mixture
& I Don’t Want to Waste It

I’ve taken a go pill to keep
the brown widow that dangled
its red hourglass in front of my door
from crawling into my day. A get-
me-through it pill in place of coffee’s
catapult ride. A capsule-raft to float
through the river of papers
on my desk. An I-don’t-want-to-lose-
my-shit-today pill in the latest
rash of selfies of people smiling
next to their cars stopped on the 805
as a man teeters on the overpass
in the background. “There’s no
deep feeling left in the world,”
the man yelled to the crisis
negotiator, “only keystroke
knowledge of things.” An I’m-not-
going-to-teeter pill, at least not
today. The green blue of a hummingbird’s
back disappears into the green-blue
leaves of a eucalyptus grove. I’ve taken
a no-more-hummingbird-brain
pill. In college people used to love
to say Kerouac wrote On the Road
in 24 hrs. on speed but now speed
is just another bomb prescribed
to induce calm in the hyperactive.
How do you learn this trick of absorbing
a story without the story changing
your day? My son’s plastic cup
bounces off the floor but keeps
its shape. I’ve-taken-a-plastic-
cup pill. The finger holes in the sand
the crabs left as the white water
retracted this morning. The sandpipers
billing the holes as they disappeared. A tidal
pill. But here’s a story about a Russian
knifing his best friend b/c his friend
said poetry’s nothing but pretty
images & distraction. Pick your battles
my wife always says.
Dawn sun across the wet sand.
A dawn light pill.
 
 

Noah Blaustein

NOAH BLAUSTEIN has had poems in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Southern Review, Barrow St., The Cincinnati Review, The Harvard Review, Poetry Northwest, Verse Daily, Pleiades, The Mid-American Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Zyzzyva. After Party is forthcoming from the University of New Mexico Press in 2019. The anthology he edited, Motion: American Sports Poems was a pick of the year of National Public Radio and the New York Public Library. Flirt, was the first book ever selected for the Georgia Poetry Circuit. He is currently an AIR fellow with the National Park Service, teaching poetry to homeless youth in the Santa Monica Mountains.

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