had logo

November 21, 2020

2 Poems

Doug Paul Case

Monarch Season

What is the flattest city in America

I want to drive there in a blue ’88 Dakota

Chris Pine riding shotgun shirtless

Back roads only motels when we need to

Goddamn I love a man’s three-day stubble

We’ll park at the top of the tallest garage

We’ll play rummy waiting for sunset

He’ll drop his Levi’s and mount the cab to watch

You can see straight over the town to the mountains

I’ll take photographs of him from the flatbed

Orange light dipping through his legs

For one shot he squats and wears a paper crown

Photography is stilling the way light curves around

That’s it that’s the poem go home


Bieber’s Calvins

Last week my coworker showed me a photograph of a sweatshirt she wants to buy. It had a photograph of Rihanna printed on it, in which she’s raised both her middle fingers at someone off to the left, but you can’t see that someone in the photograph, which is to say on the sweatshirt, and she said I WOULD WEAR THE SHIT OUT OF THAT SWEATSHIRT. I said ME TOO, because I admire both Rihanna and Rihanna’s impatience, but I don’t know where I would wear the shit out of it because it’s not like I can wear it around this Midwest college town or while I sit here scheduling hair appointments and taking checks from old women after their perms. This is the phone I answer to pay rent. Most of the time I wish I could do what Rihanna is doing in that photograph. People have no idea what they sound like. People have no idea how incorrect their self-images are. My coworker said IT’S ON EBAY FOR LIKE TWELVE DOLLARS BUT I DON’T KNOW IF I WANT IT BECAUSE IT’S PROBABLY DIRECTLY FROM CHINA AND THOSE NEVER FIT ME RIGHT. I said WHO KNOWS, because I don’t, because lately I buy most of my clothes from secondhand shops, but I thought for that price I could try it and see. Then another coworker came up to the front and said WHAT DIDN’T FIT RIGHT, WAS IT THE UNDERWEAR JUSTIN WORE FOR CALVIN KLEIN. She said everyone in the back was talking about it. She said IT’S HARD TO BE ATTRACTED TO HIM BECAUSE HE’S SUCH AN ASSHOLE. I said I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT BIEBER’S CALVINS, because I don’t, not really, because I thought there was something funny about the photographs even before it was revealed they had to Photoshop in a bigger chest and dick, but they must have been a success anyway. One piece of evidence: their making it into this poem. People have no idea how often they need new idols. Someone said HE’S NO MARKY MARK, and someone said YEAH THERE ARE ACTUAL PROBLEMS IN THE WORLD TO CARE ABOUT, and someone else said THEY SHOULD HAVE HIRED A BETTER MODEL TO START WITH, and then I picked up the phone because it rang.