Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2019  Vol. 18 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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In The Rough

Hovering over me all night was some kind of spirit. I didn’t know
who or what it was, but it made me uncomfortable. When I got up in
the morning, I felt drained and beaten. I looked around, but there was
nothing there. I needed something, but I didn’t know what, a rock, some-
thing to bang my head against. I drank a glass of water, then another
glass, then another. Then I felt a fly buzzing inside me. I needed to
kill it. I stood on my head and managed to spit him out. Then I walked
into a wall and fell down. I lay there for a while dreaming I was
in a bumper car, banging this way and that. Then I stood up, shaking my
head. I walked to the couch and sat down. Everything was clear and
bright. I was OK now. I looked out the window. A dark cloud came over.
I sat there twiddling my thumbs. I knew I was supposed to do something,
but I couldn’t remember what it was. Oh, yes, I was supposed to buy my
mother a birthday present today. I tried to think of something. I could
buy her a parrot, or a monkey, or a snake. None of them seemed right,
because my mother had been dead for ten years, or was it twenty? Oh well,
forget about the present. I was supposed to do something else, but what
was it? I was supposed to go to work, that’s it! But what was my job?
I didn’t know. A carpenter? A plumber? I didn’t think so. I went
back to twiddling my thumbs. I was pretty good at it, but nobody was going
to pay me. I decided not to worry about it. Maybe I was senile. I knew
my name and address. I didn’t think so. I knew my mother’s birthday.
I was an out-of-work genius! There was a knock on the door. “Hello Jack.”
“Hi Bob.” “Have you got your golf clubs?” “Oh yes, I’ll get them.” And so
we played golf and everything was back to normal.  

   Nine Posthumous Poems

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