Three poems by Mebane Robertson

A Silken Tie

Blind and blotted out like a typo in a line,
The yolk of the egg sleeps in infinity.
No. This is not about me, or you for that matter.

It is a recitation of origins—the mother of the measure
Of the desert risen from the gray of the sea.
Great boulders once now ground to the sea washing

Shaven, sandy ankles of those kicking froth.
Bluest emotion tied off with a yellow sash.
And at the summit we survey the gushing white swallowing

The shocks of the river’s golden hair.
But what is strange to the tourists is to the native
Only the remembrance of themselves –

One where fire was in the leaves, one where
The pictures flickered on memory’s silver screen.
And in the tongue many forth were issued,

The sugar cube dissolves into the morning’s green tea,
And the dog yaps, yaps endlessly in the Milky Way.
Nobody or no one is competent to command this ship.

In this succor of infinity there is not a navel.
And the tone here is terminal, no room in the pew
For the daily, common, or sentiment so shared.

So to end is to begin. The cherry siren flashing,
Eating the nerves—even the good citizen wondered
If it could be coming for him. It all forms an arc

Of good and not good—that is to say evil.
The red clouds over us are in waves and ripples.
The old couple is envy enchanted – embers in the storm.


And They’re Off

We have these roses, but the words falter
And in your white gloves I am daunted.
You are just trying to get me back for her,
For saying her name at the oyster bar.

The oily torches we followed to get here,
The rice of memory and the identical dress
Of the brides’ maids: like a red tail hawk
Circling down on your scowl.

You pick up all the change I’m always letting fall.
The apples are sour plucked from the orchard,
And in the tall grass, you just allow what comes to you.

The path leads down to the pond where the pier
Is disappointed for never to read and cipher
What you are leavening in your composition notebook.

The trees are wild. We swim a chop to the farther side.
And what but a hive, or some other
Construction – a pencil lead wasp nest, childish syntax
Without rationale: are you getting me?



Sufficient Paper

She was the one who scribbled her whole way home –
The one they scoured the sink for.
They compressed and limited her very hot signal
Seeing it was determined to dig into the red.

She likes spending time in the yard, pulling yellow weeds
To further embrace the truth, just so, to affirm
The waning of analog models. “Mother where?
Mother why? Mother why this egg blue in the sky?”

She dreams of a friend in a cursive script –
And she is the first to firmly acknowledge
That jury selection has begun
Like a swirl of glitter twisting in the wind.


Mebane Robertson most recently published the poetry collections An American Unconscious (2016) and Signal From Draco (2007). He is currently revising his third book of poetry “Lost in the Yard.” He lives in Brooklyn, New York and earned his PhD in English from Fordham University. He has numerous journal and online publications including Beloit Poetry Review, The William and Mary Review, The Journal, Guernica, Able Muse and others. He has just finished an all ages novel, “Elsa the Snake Handler’s Daughter,” and is looking for an agent to represent it.

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This entry was posted on June 30, 2016 by in poetry.


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