PROPER PUNCTUATION

Forecasts are for chumps, he told her, tapping the paper. Write that down in your notebook there.

All angle and spangle, the weather punks its tattooed forehead into your face. A Scottish Kiss.

This is what it means to be raw. No manufactured amp feedback or rusty strings or rebel lowercase.

Now is an uppercut grab-bag, baby’s third diaper full of surprises, green commas and semicolons.

Tear up hope and use its pieces. Reveal. Redact. Collage discontent. Excrete what is a must.

The baby’s cheeks flush after it feeds, like it just came in from the cold.

Love is a sleeping pill, he told her. Write that down, too. But she was already long gone.

 
 
DON'T USE A .22, I'VE SEEN A .22 BOUNCE OFF A WINDOW

It’s dark enough to steal a car battery here where the parking lot meets the field.

Your headphones got smaller each day you had them until they disappeared inside

your ears and now you can’t tell if what you’re hearing originates outside or inside

the speaker box of bone in which you live. The crunch of gravel could just be

static, or someone walking their dog on the path behind your house, or it could be

something less dangerous, a tipped box of bullets rolling downhill.

That gun’s got to be around here somewhere, said everyone who ever lived.

 
 
INDICATOR CLICK

A reflected something twitches peripherally, catching your attention, so you make it twitch again and again and one more time to complete.

Forget that moment you keep remembering until you’ve worn it thin enough that it’s not the same moment. Nothing deserves that.

The taillights and headlights of traffic strobe their less urgent emergencies, the sound of sirens slowed 600% to a growl of wet tires.

It was your hand that moved, your other hand that moved it, still another hand that moved your second, and your brain’s middle finger

that pointed where each should go. No one is lost on a straight road so long as back remains an option. This is why we drive on.

Take my hand, says your hand. There have been 52 telephone poles since the last red light. I know the way.

 

George Murray headshotGeorge Murray lives in St. John's and is the author of five books of poetry, including Whiteout (ECW, 2012), The Rush to Here (Nightwood, 2007), and The Hunter (M&S, 2003); one book of aphorisms, Glimpse (ECW, 2010); a book for children, Wow Wow and Haw Haw (Breakwater, 2014); as well as an unfinished novel published in his imagination. New poems from the series excerpted here are scheduled for publication in 2015.