CL Bledsoe: 3 poems

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The first lesson in disappointment 
I remember was The Muppets Take 
Manhattan – or maybe The Great
Muppet Caper – I waited half 
the movie for that Pegasus to come 
back, but it never did. 

The fear of being anywhere was set 
aside while Nakatomi Tower was robbed, ghosts 
preferred their soup bland, the worm was just
a worm. There’s no lesson, here, just
a reminder of how wise I am to already
know things. 

It’s hard to trust people in the dark 
when you can’t trust them in the light, 
but they’re too distracted to see me 
wipe my cheeks when the monster
I wish I was, doesn’t get its way.
I’m a different kind of monster, entirely. 

Lights up, we stumble out.


They tell us that the biggest thing 
to fear is entropy, that it hungers 
for the human heart as for chocolate

after a wasted day. We must remain
in flux once it catches our scent. 
Everything changes, no matter how

hard you fight to keep it the same. 
It’s the fighting that draws
the beast’s attention. The city is sad 

because it eats its children, all of them 
grown fat from neglect. Streetlights
flash as though they’re trying to tell

you something, but all they mean is go.
Comfort isn’t something the asphalt
understands, but you’re welcome 

to try to learn its language. If you want 
to taste tomorrow, put your face into 
the fire until all you see and smell 

are ashes. This will be the beginning. 

That Eternal Farm Upstate Where All Our Dead Pets Live

There’s no reason to be ashamed if you break
down at odd hours, remembering the lives
you set aside in order to sulk in the dark. 

It wasn’t your fault.

The great fingerprint in the sky put it’s dirty
digit on your brain and shorted out the wiring.
You did the best you could to see past
the electric ants whose bellies never get full.

Who the hell doesn’t wish they could redo
some days? Accountants never get into heaven.
At least there’s still a market for the robe makers.
Someone in a funny hat, with a funny smile, 
someone who hasn’t worked a hard day in their
not-hard lives. There’s no hand to take your coins,
but what you wouldn’t give to run
your fingers through that winter day’s soft fur

one more time. 

Raised on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas, CL Bledsoe is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the poetry collections Riceland, Trashcans in LoveGrief Bacon, and his newest, The Bottle Episode, as well as his latest novels Goodbye, Mr. Lonely and The Saviors. Bledsoe co-writes the humor blog How to Even, with Michael Gushue located here: His own blog, Not Another TV Dad, is located here: He’s been published in hundreds of journals, newspapers, and websites that you’ve probably never heard of. Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter. 

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