width=61 height=87> CL Bledsoe
Featured Poet

CL Bledsoe has work in Margie, Clackamas, the Potomac Review, Natural Bridge, 42 Opus, 2 River View, The Pedestal, Snow Monkey, The Arkansas Review, and The Cimarron Review among other places. He is an editor for Ghoti Magazine

(bio current as of December 2005)


You wrapped the night around you like a shawl
and said that I never remember.
I watched your lips dance through the words
and didn’t hear a thing.

The wind brushed thin strands of hay colored hair
across your shoulders. You turned away
saying something about the way the lake 
captured the light of the moon and held it.
I watched your nipples poke at the cloth of your shirt

as you said, "Love is like the moon and the lake, 
two things forever separate
that sink into each other at night." 
I nodded slowly.

You said, “love is the greatest teacher in life,
we learn not to share, that's economics, 
we learn that the lesser of two evils is still evil, that's politics.” 

You said, “all the evils of the world
have been caused by unrealized expectation.” 
And I tried to think of something clever,
but all that came to mind
was the time in the back of Stephen’s car
when you asked me to spank you.

I put my arm around your shoulder 
and considered my chances of getting oral.
Then you said, “She isn’t even pretty, really.”  
"What do you mean," I started to say, but you cut me off. 
“I could have you to myself, if I wanted,
but its too late for that. When it comes to women
you’re like a cat playing with a mouse,
and not letting it die.”

"It's not like that," I said. "Let me explain." 
But you leaned in close 
and slipped something in my pocket with a,
“Happy anniversary.” I stood dumb 
as you drew the moonlight into your eyes like a breath
and said that I never remember.

Copyright © 2006 CL Bledsoe

The Woods

The girl with the bloody shirt stretched almost to breaking
over her chest was crying in the corner provocatively
when I got to the hospital. "We didn't know," she said, 

spitting the words out like confetti while I tried to remember
why I'd ever taken this job, and how I could've thought it would matter. 
                                    It had been a hard week, and the commander 

                                    was coming down on me like a piano. 
I was 6 days from retirement, and I was getting real nervous. 
"It was spring break," she sobbed, which is difficult to do 

while speaking, so I immediately respected her resolve. 
"We went for a class trip; just the senior modeling school class. 
And we were all wearing high heels and wet tee-shirts. 

We found some old Indian burial ground, and Harold 
was telling Maude about this guy who'd escaped from an insane asylum 
                                    and killed a bunch of girls cause their implants 

                                    jiggled so loud he couldn't sleep. 
Then Harold and Maude went off to have sex in the woods, and they 
never came back. We were too busy taking showers together to notice. 

Then in the morning we found Harold's foot stuffed in Maude's mouth—"
"That's not funny," I interrupted. Then for good measure, I slapped her
hard, on the behind, which was covered with blood. It got on my hand

but I didn't notice until later when I was halfway through a bag of Cheetos,
and realized that my fingers were pink, instead of the customary orange.
                                    Blood has a way of doing that. That's another thing 

                                    I won't miss. It was the usual story: overbearing mother 
reproduces psychopathic killer with definite latent heterosexual tendencies, 
psychopathic killer spies unsuspecting troop of overenthusiastic 

scantily clad models, psychopathic killer enacts a twisted sort of population control 
on said models by killing all of the ones who slow down enough to have sex. 
One model lucks into some incredibly simple yet ridiculous method of dispatching

said psychopathic killer, killer is dispatched; model survives, 
and dollars to donuts, when I try to dig that psychopathic killer's 
                                    moldy corpse up from the bottom of whatever river 

                                    she left it in, he'll be gone. 
Just as I was stepping out of the donut shop with a fresh bag of crullers
a van swerved around an angry insert minority group man who was running 

towards me with a sword, and ran over my toe, while various prostitutes 
struck kung fu poses all over the sidewalk. 6 more days 
and I'll move somewhere peaceful, like Detroit or Cincinnati.

Copyright © 2006 CL Bledsoe


We were tired of strawberries that tasted like water, 
genetically engineered to be as boring as politics, 
tired of even the organic foods store selling things
that smelled like strawberries, were shaped like strawberries,
tasted like tart water. So we grew our own from an heirloom strain
in the backyard of our first duplex, until the neighbor kids ate them,
knocking on our door, asking for sugar please to dip them in.

Copyright © 2006 CL Bledsoe