Poem of the Week: Andy Mcguire’s “Pool”

Andy McGuire’s “Pool” advances an end rhyme all the way to the end of the diving board at knifepoint. Pool whirligigs across the page, traveling from New York to the Western frontier faster than a speeding bullet through a Dallas motorcade. With Seidelian touches of menace and luxury, Pool arrives at a point of stillness and repose but the reader questions if the end justifies the means. Read it quickly enough, and it sounds like you’re hyperventilating. –Jake Byrne


I’m too tired to care today.
It costs too much to care what you say.
I love you too much to care anyway.
I write I love you too much to care on my resumé.
I hear they’re hiring masseuses at the New York City Ballet.
I left my car with the man from Bombay
They pay

To play
The man from Bombay
Who bobbles through the dossier
Of things George Washington would have him say.
Beautivul day.
Right avay.

selective hearing will forever outweigh

The fact that the past is here to stay.
Throw a stone and you get three cheers for the NRA.
Everyone under the sun is killing a power play.
A wedding is underway.
They vow each word like vertebrae.
The bride has died and gone to heaven, and I catch the bouquet.
it must be my birthday.

Eat, pray
And stay the fuck away
From my cabana. I wave the waiter over and order an El Presidente
Then brush him off, Ándale!
Carry on with your beaux idées,
At sunrise the horse’s mouth hits the hay.
Eat, pray

And delete your browsing history. Whatever you think you saw is hearsay.
I care in a cowboy-wrangling-a-stray
Kind of way.
I throw what I say
An exclusive soiree
And pull out my impression of JFK
In which I lay

Low, having a bad hair day,
Bleeding, all blasé.
not bleeding per se -
Bleeding is not my forte,
Rome was built on a day like today.

Posted with permission from Coach House Books and the poet. Country Club was published in 2015.