Something Something Orange

In Magazine, Poetry by Matt ChylakLeave a Comment

Orange flannel long-sleeve shirt, lingering
over nineteen-day-old jeans. What do you expect
when the basement washer/dryer costs three dollars and
it only takes quarters? If I’m ever carrying
more than three quarters at a time, there’s
a problem anyway because I don’t
like change and why carry all that trouble in your pocket?

Woke up from a dry reverie to Josquin mumbling
“Kyrie” and turned the radio off. Out of
Advil, left my contact case open before bed so
the solution’s evaporated overnight
and I’m left (again) with crusty eyes and crocodile tears what’s the
difference between crocodile and alligator tears? and for that matter,
peccadillo sounds nice before morning grace.

Two hours prior, lahar and flood basalt distinctions
outweigh, overcrowd some form of American
politics; not my class anyway. And how! that was the worst
diagram I’d ever see, speaking diagrammatically of
course, while petulant scarf-wearers next to me exchange
advances it’s valentine’s day. Lunchtime

and I see you. This part of the poem digresses a bit
and I promise to try to get it back on track
so I grab an orange from the bowl of oranges
and avert my eyes while we talk because I’m afraid you’ll see that I see
you and yes, I don’t actually know why I took
this, but I guess I can’t give it back. You can never
give back an orange, even if you haven’t broken the
skin yet, at least that’s how I feel. Pause.

Machaut, quant en moi, into oh magicum mysterium
and whatever else I scribbl’d furiously. I’ve
free time to talk about the “English Sound,” but
instead never understood why things need
quotation marks. Noticing now that I don’t start
sentences on the first line, even in essays worth
five points about lahar and flood basalt mitigation.
Probably got at least partial credit.

Got on my bike, dicked around, and decided
to never use very again. After all, like Whitman said
what’s better: I love you very much or I love you?–screw it,
Whitman didn’t say that and you know it. Neither
did Elizabeth Barrett Browning and mwah-wah
I’ve been in this damn library since midnight.

Orange flannel long-sleeve shirt, strewn
over now-twenty-day-old jeans and
my bedroom carpeting. It’s weird that now I
finally have enough time to think
“dicked around” looked silly before
and there I go with the fucking quotation marks! and how
can I get up in less than five hours and do this all over again
as peccadilloes and pomegranates waltz once more.

Matt ChylakSomething Something Orange

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