Robert Beveridge : Three Poems Dec. 2018

The Southern legitimacy statement: I was raised by jackalopes. Among them were Jim Boatwright, Liz Morgan, and Dabney Stuart.


A pregnant spider twists
on the end of her line
her web breaks
my cigarette’s smoke
into a hundred pieces

smell of grilled pork
caresses my face
father-in-law smokes
over bourbon
says the land is arable here,
the sheep fecund

dog chews a chop bone
I sip my drink
and watch the spider climb
behind it the hills
rise yellow and green
powerline hums

the land continues like this forever

like good Virginia bourbon and chops

all of the spider’s eggs will hatch

Old Town in Winter

Life is good here.
Fireplaces keep out the cold
where people meet and talk:
guns, cards, money on the tables
old friends cheat each other
out of a week’s pay
drink redeye from the bottle

the faded whore everybody’s had
at least twice
sings tunelessly, jollily, lustily
to the piano Harvey is playing
in the corner

the bartender wipes
another glass clean
turns to fill it with his own
private-stock white lightning
for the new guy in town
still don’t know the white
lightning’ll kill ya,
only been here seven years now

Three Carrots, Eggplant, Zucchini

Your enemies: rabbits, deer, hedgehogs.
As you drift off to sleep, you know another
session of nightmares awaits, county fair
blue ribbons devoured by hungry tormentors.
You awake with the sun, emerge to inspect
razor-straight furrows. The mines pristine,
primavera still atavistic awaits the hoe,
fertilizer. Outside the fence a single
chicken crops at dusty ground. You have
never felt so calm, in such control
of your backyard. The enemies, it seems,
have turned their attention elsewhere.