G.C. Waldrep

SHALL BEAR UPON HIS SHOULDER IN THE TWILIGHT
April 25, 2017 Waldrep G.C.

SHALL BEAR UPON HIS SHOULDER IN THE TWILIGHT

—Eze. 12:12

 

Reaching from history, that alpenglow, towards the dead whose clothes I wear

tracked from room to room, the prodigy house we’ve built

from the ambient low-fi hum—You pass your tongue through it. But what are you,

the woman in the checkout line kept asking (watched over by the tabloids,

themselves an extinction event, a deferred ecology). What makes you permeable

to axe. Shelter. Effigy. Tarot. I place my hand inside the box

& then I draw it out again. (The film students worship in ragged pairs.)

In the carrion-fields the insect eye unpicks the red thread, its tiny miracle-play:

Split the body to expose the toll. So you step out into the diversity retreat

the faith calls “Easter.” Someone else’s memory, the jeweled slime of the carp’s

underbelly, its torsion & snap. We loot the house of its unmentionables.

Today I wear the hat of a man whose daughter I did not marry

& the dark brown shirt of another man whose daughter did not marry me.

Music sifts through the otherwise empty room reserved for what we call the future,

though it isn’t that. Almost imperceptibly my organs break

from the picture plane, the finance sector, the matte radio whose sticky

wave-fronts buy the body back. —That’s what it wants. What it always wanted.

 

G.C. Waldrep’s most recent books are a long poem, Testament (BOA Editions, 2015), and a chapbook, Susquehanna (Omnidawn, 2013).  With Joshua Corey he edited The Arcadia Project:  North American Postmodern Pastoral (Ahsahta, 2012).  His new collection, feast gently, is due out from Tupelo Press in 2018.  He lives in Lewisburg, Pa., where he teaches at Bucknell University, edits the journal West Branch, and serves as Editor-at-Large for The Kenyon Review.