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POETRY

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Patrick Braley

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The Montreal Review, November 2010

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Happy Anniversary

On the day that we had been together

17 months, we lay in your bed

and you wept on my arm,

because we were just then faced with separation,

physical and permanent.

 

To lose you will be losing a piece of myself.

You will surely take my knees-

you weakened them and now they

can be yours without a fight.

 

One year from now,

I will walk the rain-soaked streets of Boston,

probably smoking a cigarette,

always sipping a coffee,

stumbling about with nothing to hold me up.

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III.

Hunched over like a scarecrow

beaten across the back by the wind,

feet hanging limply

over the edge of my roof

and smoking myself to sleep,

whiskey and water to tuck me in,

and my head buried

under bathwater to drown out

the din from the city streets.

They tell me I am beautiful,

and I smile and wink

and play the part of the spry young dancer,

magic on the stage

with blood in his shoes.

 

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Marcy's

Sitting- at a speed of

3 cups of coffee per hour, warm cream

churning thick and heavy in your guts,

vacant like hotel rooms with

cigarette burns in the bed sheets-

I look at myself

in the old spoon stained brown like vacant hotel bed sheets,

and think,

I don't like who you're becoming, boy.

And neither does she.

So just sip that coffee, boy.

It's just us this morning.

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Possible Worlds:

 

This whiskey makes me gag

but I won't stop drinking

until the taste of you is off

of my tongue.

Where will you be when I'm there,

sitting at the table by the window

constructing tiny mountains of ash

and watching them crumble,

as quickly as they were formed?

I am a world-creating god,

helpless against the ruin

I've so readily put into motion.

Sometimes the greatest wonders fall

of their own accord, and all we have is

gagging on cheap whiskey and cigarette smoke.

Coping is a madman's dream.

 

Or, alternatively-

you sit at the other end of the table.

The whiskey is gone but

the cigarette is still there and

you don't mind because your father smoked

for your entire life, and you like that sometimes

I remind you of him.

And the mountains still stand,

despite the sharp wind

coming in off the bay.

 

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Patrick Braley is an 18 year old poet, living in a small town  deep in the heart  of Maine. He spends much of his time reading Bukowski, listening to podcasts and not sleeping. Patrick plans to attend college next fall to study creative writing.

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Illustration: Underground (oil on canvas 122 x 91cm) and Interval (oil on canvas 122 x 91 cm) by Christopher Thompson.

Christopher Thompson was born in Grimsby in 1969. He trained at Norwich School of Art followed by The Royal Academy Schools where he received his Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art in 1997. Whilst being a resolutely figurative artist, the characteristics of the medium are as important for him in conveying the essence of a painting's meaning. He has won numerous awards and in 2003 his portrait of the British actor Peter Postlethwaite was acquired by The National Portrait Gallery, London for its collections.

His works can be purchased at Albemarle Gallerie (49 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4JR, U.K. )

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