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December 8, 2020

2 Poems

Matthew Medendorp

Art Garfunkel Spends 1971 to 1972 Teaching High School Geometry to Sophomores at the Short-Lived Lichfield Academy in Connecticut

Afterwards, he walks across Japan. Then America.
Not in that order, but he does a lot of
walking he does some whistling too.
He tries to write sometimes he tries
to slide out of bed and root in front of the houseplant
and write a song for it. He tries
to write for himself too but it all goes away
so he picks up his desk and draws parallel
lines across the atlas with a red rubber band. Or he
carves the circumference of a circle into
the wood of his guitar. Here’s his Catch 22:
can you rescue the sound of an unwritten
song from the mind of someone who doesn’t
want to want to write can you gum a tune
can you play a sympathy can you snap strings
in acute angles can you glue a soundboard to the
soles of your feet and snowshoe across
dry country can you walk long enough to
leave yourself behind?


The Desert Jazz Crabs

They build monasteries with bare claws.
cook rhubarb in the dry heart, paint
themselves cartoon red, unearth
clamshells from the Flood
and chase the birds that drop them
inland on the rocks.

That’s the mystery these crabs are
looking for, while spinning 45s.
They’re searching for God in clamshells —
they’re swinging sideways in Nat King Cole
light — they’re forgetting to call their mothers
and bumming cigarettes from the saguaros,
trolling Amazon for sunglasses to fit their eyestalks.