width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses


Rick Bush
Red Heavy Car I

Leaving at seven:twenty-two,
Reaching over
To connect karmically.

Caroline hates
     conversion vans,
     construction creating congestion.
Nicki is indifferent to
     bad music,
I like
     glistening white corvettes,
     isolation in the back seat,
     thrusting toward our transitory Mecca;

Though I don't know 
Where it is--
Not caring;
Perhaps enjoying the pilgrimage
More than the holy ground.

Tires sticking to a single black line
The way I want this moment
To adhere to the
Singular line of my consciousness--
Commemorating what will be the past:
     the broken glass of the road,
     the company of Nicki, Ani and Caroline,
     the two-serving-suggested bottle of Peach Crush that I'll drink in one,
Commemorating that I never learned
When--or How--to stop

I know that if I don't
Turn this moment into words now,
It will never transform
To reflect its total affect:
I'm too
So it will only be remembered
In my emotional centers
Not my language centers
In my emotional centers--
And this incomplete

© 2006 Rick Bush


I’m starting to think that this relationship isn’t working out. 
It’s obviously one-sided, and I don’t much appreciate the double standards
you subject me to.  How do you expect me to let you get away with saying,
“Tempt not your God,” right after you create women and sex? 
I think you just want me to hate them.

Why else would you present
The distraction of this girl
With jeans that might have been painted
On her firm cheeks
Her gently curved thighs…
In the middle of church no less.
But what a Mass it was!

Couldn’t you have at least put her a couple rows behind me? 
If this were an isolated incident, I might not blame you. 
In fact, in this single moment I have never appreciated your works 
quite so much.

Then it hits me
The blues hit me
The gray-haired-black-Mississippi-man heartbroken blues
The “I’ve loved every stranger so much at first sight that I could never approach them” 
The “Every beautiful woman must have someone already”
The “I’ve had so many women, but haven’t been able to hold onto a single one”

You made me hate this girl a few pews ahead of me. Turning her into every woman
I’ve ever known. I hate them too, I didn’t really mean to cheat on you--I’m sure 
no one really means to cheat—but the opportunity just sort of… presented itself. 
It’s your fault for letting her in your house to begin with. This conversation
is going nowhere, and I have to work.

Leaving your house, all my lessons are forgotten
At work, another one walks in
I fall in love because she’s my age
And reminds me of someone
We exchange comfortable smiles of obscure familiarity
And looks of inquisition
As we try to place each other
Among our histories
My smile flickers as I realize this is
The first girl that ever rejected me
(Not shitting you
I wasn’t used to girls then
I couldn’t muster more than overdone
Awkward nervous conversation
She broke my heart
Before my first kiss)
Next time I walked by her
I strutted, smiled
Smug because she’s gained weight
(I later found out it’s because she’s pregnant)
And I don’t think she knows who I am yet
And I know I’m proud to be exactly
Where I am in this moment
Who I am in this moment
Because she wants me, 
And I hate her too

Silently I thank you for your conciliatory gift. Then as I turn 
with new confidence, I realize the extent of your cruelty.

My heart is squeezed through my bowels
My feet are glued to the floor, almost twisting me down
Before me you placed my every loss personified.
My loss from two hundred miles and three years ago
Eyes chained together
She opens her mouth
A foreign voice asks:
“Can I have a napkin please?”
“Of course you may,”
And fuck you for looking like her
I hate you both.

© 2006 Rick Bush