Poetry Issue 11

   Issue # 11: January-June 2009

Gregg Friedberg



Do I deny the effect of the sun on the soul?


                                 that glad slant it puts on things at certain hours,
                                                                                                   certain seasons,
                                            on dappled lawns and gamboling boys in t-shirts
                                                                                                                 and shorts?

      The sunny sense of things—that’s Myth Number One.
                                                                                                   You think,
                                            there can’t really be evil afoot under this sun.

      And wronger you couldn’t be. That’s how they get away with it,
                                                              how the sun’s their accomplice. It lulls you
                                            into letting down your guard.

      The litter tries to warn you, glitters beside your shoes, winks
                                                              at you from unlikely places, shows you how
                                                   the sun will tart up anything.

      No, all’s not sanguine that shines—in fact, it’s safe to assume,
                                                                                                   nothing is.

                                 There’s torment behind the bright vinyl-siding.
                                                   Migraine and miscarriage.
                                                                            Bad faith and bad words.

      Could I face the day in a Chevrolet?

                                 The boy at the wheel’s bare-breasted. A bottle of gingerbeer
                                                                                                   sprouts from his crotch.

      Get in. Get situated. Get happy. On a brash whim, snatch the bottle,
                                                                                                   kiss its lip, swig deeply.

                                 That cool burn in your throat—that’s happiness.

      Spinning wheels are the ticket. The song of the asphalt.

                                 What can hurt you if you’re in transit? if you’re
                                                                                                   just whizzing by.